National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 - Oct. 15) is an opportunity to recognize the achievements and contributions of Hispanic role models inspiring others to achieve success and dream big. Athletes are certainly inspirational, and several Hispanics and Hispanic Americans have graced the playing fields of Columbus. Get to know a few prominent Hispanic American athletes from the past couple decades of Columbus sports.
Chris Olave, Ohio State Football
After a stellar career at Ohio State, the New Orleans Saints selected Olave 11th in the 2022 NFL Draft. Of Cuban descent on his father’s side, Olave hauled in 176 receptions for 2,711 yards and 36 touchdowns for the Buckeyes and is known for his combination of blazing speed and route-running ability.
Anthony Gonzalez, Ohio State Football
Gonzalez was an All-Big Ten selection at wide receiver in his final year at Ohio State (2006), and he ended his Buckeye career with 87 receptions for 1,286 yards and 13 scores. He played five years in the NFL for the Indianapolis Colts. His father left Cuba after Fidel Castro seized power. After his playing career, Gonazalez was elected U.S. representative for Ohio’s 16th congressional district in 2018 and served two terms.
Diego Cervantes, Ohio State Fencing
A member of the Mexican National and Olympic fencing teams for several years, Cervantes is currently one of the stars of the Buckeyes fencing team. At the most recent Olympics in Tokyo, competing in the foil, Cervantes won his first match before losing a close contest to the No. 4 seed.
Aina Cid Centelles, Ohio State Rowing
Competing in the coxless pair competition at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil and again in the 2021 Games in Tokyo, representing her home country of Spain, Cid Centelles qualified for the finals and finished sixth in each competition. At Ohio State, Cid Centelles was a standout on teams that won three consecutive National Championships (2013-2015).
Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Columbus Crew
One of the greatest and most skillful players in Crew history, the Argentine striker won MLS MVP and led the team to the MLS Cup in 2008. In the final, he notched three assists in the 3-1 win over the New York Red Bulls. He was the 2008 MLS regular season MVP and was also named MVP of the championship game. During his Crew career (2007
– 2010), Barros Schelotto scored 38 goals and added 48 assists.
Federico Fernando Higuain, Columbus Crew
The Argentine forward utilized power and speed, and an uncanny ability to chip the ball over goalkeepers from distance, to score 59 goals and add 69 assists for the Crew (2012
– 2019). 'Pipa' led the Crew to the 2015 MLS Eastern Conference title and formally retired earlier this year.
Yandy Diaz, Columbus Clippers
The Cuban-born third baseman and outfielder made quite a splash with the Clippers in 2016, winning International League Rookie of the Year. He followed this up by winning the league’s batting title the following year, before being promoted to the majors. He played for the Cleveland Guardians (2017
– 2018) and is currently with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Jesus Aguilar, Columbus Clippers
The hard-hitting Venezuelan first baseman was a force for the Clippers from 2014
– 2016. In 386 games he launched 68 homers and knocked in 262 runs. Aguilar has played for several MLB teams over the past several years and he is currently with the Miami Marlins.
Jose Ramirez, Columbus Clippers
This versatile Dominican Republic player showed his big league potential during two seasons (2014 -2015) with the Clippers, as he stole 101 bases in 104 games and batted over .300 in 2014. A fixture with the Guardians at third base, Ramirez is a four-time All-Star.