The Big Red Machine of the Cincinnati Reds in the mid-1970’s would not have been that big without Venezuelan-born shortstop Dave Concepción. He was a nine-time All Star player and with five Gold Glove Awards he was at the top of great shortstops of that era. Won two Silver Slugger Awards and was named the MVP of the1982 All-Star Game. His full name is David Ismael Concepción Benítez, born June 17, 1948 at Ocumare de la Costa, Aragua, Venezuela.
Concepción did not spend much time in the minor leagues, from 1968 to 1969, he was an outstanding player an exceptional runner and by 1969 at just 21 years of age was ready for the Big Show. Years before the world watched Concepción play in the major leagues, Pete Rose said about the young shortstop “They tell me that kid can play short with a pair of pliers” another major league star, Ted Kluszewski said of Concepción “I have been saying all the time, this young man is going to be a good hitter”. Venezuela is the land of the great shortstops, guys like Omar Vizquel, Luis Aparicio and Dave Concepción, these three specially were magicians with the glove. The great Luis Aparicio was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown in 1984, the first Venezuelan ever to be enshrined. The three greats are also on The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum and Hall of Fame; Luis Aparicio (2007), Omar Vizquel (2007) and now this year 2022 we welcome Dave Concepción. By-the-way, Cooperstown still late on getting Omar Vizquel an induction plaque as well as Dave Concepción. They both are worthy.
Dave Concepción was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 2007, his famous #13 was retired by the Reds. Although Concepción is no longer eligible to be voted by the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) for enshrinement into Cooperstown, he still has a chance for Cooperstown by various Hall of Fame committees, but ‘so far’ never had a lot of support, even though his numbers are better than other great Hall of Fame shortstops, including his compatriot Luis Aparicio, as well as Ozzie Smith, Phil Rizzuto and Peewee Reese.
On September 23, 2022, Dave Concepción is inducted into The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame. We are proud and very excited that Mr.Concepción, of the great Cincinnati Reds players of the Big Red Machine is now part of our Hall of Fame.