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    Latin Major Leaguers and Their Special Hunger

    The successes of today ’ s Latino baseball players are non surprising. See the home-run race

    between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, which took topographic point during the 1998 baseball season.

    While McGwire may keep the record, Sosa ’ s accomplishments were every bit celebrated and received broad

    media attending.

    Latinos, nevertheless, have non ever been welcomed by America ’ s favourite game. In Viva Baseball!

    Samuel O. Regalado paperss the history of Latino baseball players, chronicling tests and trials

    that parallel the Hispanic community itself. The history begins in 1871 and delves into the narratives of

    many great participants.

    Regalado, the nephew of former major leaguer Rudy Regalado, is a professor of history at the

    California State University, Stanislaus. He has had articles published in Journal of the West and

    Baseball History. Reprinted from Viva Baseball! Latin Major Leaguers and Their Special Hunger,

    by Samuel O. Regalado. Copyright 1998 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

    Used with the permission of the University of Illinois Press. ( Available with a new Afterword in

    April 1999. )

    Chapter 1 That Particular Hunger

    They come from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico and Venezuela, largely, but they might as

    good come from the same topographic point. The same thing drives them. They don ’ t want to travel back place to a

    criterion of life they tried so difficult to go forth. They all had the “ particular hunger. ”

    & # 8211 ; Octavio “ Cookie ” Rojas

    Dodger Stadium reverberated with exhilaration on the warm eventide of May 14, 1981. Dodgers

    fans had come to see a immature hurler ’ s try to set up a major conference record for the most

    back-to-back wins by a cub at the start of a season. Furthermore, they came merely to see him. None

    of the 56,000 seats was empty as frequenters sat impatiently in the ballpark expecting their hero ’ s

    effort to capture his 8th consecutive triumph. As the Dodgers took the field, the boom of the crowd

    reached a crescendo when Fernando Valenzuela, the twenty-year-old Mexican star, popped out of

    the dugout on his manner to the hill. Throughout the bowl fans shouted encouragement in both

    Spanish and English as Helen Dell, the Dodger Stadium organist, used the “ El Toro ” subject alternatively

    of the more familiar “ Charge ” for that eventide ’ s conflict call.

    In the imperativeness box, journalists from around the state jockeyed for infinite as they sought to cover the

    phenomenon dubbed “ Femandomania. ” Behind their mikes, Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully

    prefaced the competition with a dramatic analysis of Valenzuela while Jaime Jarrin, the “ other voice of

    the Dodgers, ” did the same for his Spanish-speaking hearers, which numbered good into the

    1000000s. Indeed, in the following several hebdomads similar scenes occurred in other National League metropoliss

    when Valenzuela pitched. The indigen of Etchohuaquila in Sonora, Mexico, had captured national

    attending. Fans clamored to acquire his autograph ; newsmans groped for new information on him.

    English-speaking baseball followings were captivated by the immature adult male from a low background

    who seemed to whirl thaumaturgy on the hurler ’ s hill. Their Spanish-speaking opposite numbers saw

    him & # 8211 ; and the environing craze & # 8211 ; as symbolic of Latin influence in the United States. Latins had


    Clearly, the attending directed toward Valenzuela was a watershed in the history of Latins in

    America ’ s national athletics. Although prior to 1981 Latins had ne’er received such countrywide

    acclamation, Fernando Valenzuela was however merely the most famed representative of a

    distinguished group of jocks who have helped determine major conference baseball and American civilization.

    Talented stars such as the Alou brothers, Luis Aparicio, Jorge “ George ” Bell, Orlando Cepeda,

    Roberto Clemente, Adolfo Luque, Juan Marichal, Dennis Martinez, Orestes “ Minnie ” Minoso, and

    Ruben Sierra were outstanding during their several old ages of drama. Most were driven by a

    despairing desire to win & # 8211 ; what Octavio “ Cookie ” Rojas described as that “ particular hungriness. & # 8230 ; . I

    knew it was traveling to take a batch of difficult work, desire, and finding [ to win ] , ” reflected

    Dominican Manny Mota in 1982. “ When I came to the United States to play professional baseball,

    I wanted.something that cipher was traveling to give me. I had to travel and acquire it myself. ”

    As these baseball innovators explored their frontiers in hunt of stardom and the fiscal wagess

    frequently denied them in their native lands, they expanded the American national interest into a truly

    international athletics. Latin baseball players coming to the United States entered a clean establishment that

    personified the American dream of chance, upward societal mobility, and success. They brought

    to major and minor conference baseball non merely their singular accomplishments but besides genius and personal appeal that

    enhanced the game ’ s witness entreaty. Ultimately, their accomplishments motivated nines and the

    American media to modify their substructures, such as spread outing reconnoitering parts and using

    bilingual forces.

    The importance of the Latin contingent in American baseball, nevertheless, transcended the athletics.

    Players frequently bridged spreads between Latin America and the United States & # 8211 ; and their distinct and

    frequently conflicting civilizations. Throughout most of the 20th century, major conference rolls included

    those from Cuba, the Dominican Republi

    degree Celsiuss, Mexico, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and other

    Central and South American states. Brothers joined brothers and boies followed male parents as

    coevalss of Latin participants gave America ’ s national interest an international composing. Often

    heroes in their ain lands, they sought to exhibit their national pride on the diamond. Most Latin

    participants saw themselves as “ embassadors ” stand foring their several states and frowned at the

    stereotypes that homogenized all Latins. At the same clip, their Spanish-speaking lingua was a

    important bond between participants in malice of their varied nationalities. Their linguistic communication both shielded them

    from unfavorable judgments and served as an hindrance in their pursuit for acknowledgment.

    Furthermore, the linguistic communication barrier highlighted the troubles of Latin socialization into the United

    States. Separated from household and place, participants struggled daily with solitariness and the booby traps of a

    foreign culinary art. For many, such jobs were sometimes complicated by the get downing points of their

    American callings. While some Latins landed in countries with big Hispanic enclaves, others were less

    fortunate. Rico Catty traveled to Yakima, Washington ; Juan Marichal went to tiny Michigan City,

    Indiana ; and Zoilo Versalles was a seventeen-year-old in Elmira, New York, places with about no

    Latin occupants. In add-on, political tensenesss all excessively frequently disrupted the lives of Latin participants. In

    1961 broken diplomatic ties virtually eliminated recruiting in Cuba, which up to that point had been

    an of import beginning of endowment.

    But harmonizing to Latin American baseball participants, their most distressing brush was with racism.

    Brought to the United States because of their accomplishments, most Latin participants believed in the great

    American dream. And they assumed that success came by virtuousness of virtue. Too frequently, nevertheless, they

    learned otherwise. Professional baseball in the United States mirrored the larger American society.

    The major conferences had excluded African American participants from the late 19th century until

    1947. After the colour barrier was breached, the turbulency created by the civil rights motion in

    the resulting decennaries proved fazing for Latin participants on and off the field. Often singled out

    because of their background, Latins repeatedly felt the stings of American racial bias and

    favoritism. Finally, while Latins and American inkinesss confronted racism together, Latins entirely

    dealt with the extra injury of socialization.

    Yet for many participants from Spanish-speaking states, their negative experiences faded into the

    background when compared with the poorness found in their ain states. Baseball for many was

    clearly the lone manner out. Furthermore, it embodied the Latin virtuousnesss of individuality, personal

    award, and unity.

    Get downing in 1911 Latin participants came to the United States with turning regularity, and with each

    beckon their impact in the major conferences enlarged. From 1911 to 1947, they entered the big leagues

    about entirely via the rolls of the Cincinnati Reds and the Washington Senators, who fostered

    reconnoitering attempts to enroll low-priced endowment, chiefly from Cuba. But after Jackie Robinson joined the

    major conferences, black Latins poured into the United States during the integrating old ages of the fiftiess

    and 1960s. The inflow reflected expanded exploratory survey attempts that drew participants from Latin parts good

    beyond Cuba. By the 1970s and 1980s, as incoming endowment from Cuba diminished, major conference

    plans, such as those found in the little Dominican town of San Pedro de Macoris, were

    created to develop endowment and East participants to U.S. civilization. Early Latin innovators such as Felipe

    Alou, Santos Alomar, Tony Oliva, and Manny Mota served within the major conference model to

    aid train the hereafter stars seeking the gold and glorification that their predecessors had achieved.

    Furthermore, Roberto Clemente ’ s bequest proved to be an of import inspiration.

    Like their African American opposite numbers, Latins played excellently. From Roberto “ Beto ” Avila

    in 1954 to Jose Canseco in 1988, Latin participants captured the Most Valuable Player award six

    times, in add-on to seven Rookie of the Year rubrics, three Cy Young trophies, and 17

    batting titles. By the terminal of the early 1990s the Baseball Hall of Fame inducted five

    Latins: Luis Aparicio, Roberto Clemente, Juan Marichal, and Rod Carew were honored for their

    outstanding callings in the major conferences while Martin Dihigo, a Cuban participant, represented the

    American black conferences

    The enlargement of baseball ’ s Latin contingent in baseball mirrored the turning importance of Latin

    civilizations in the United States. Victims of racial and cultural stereotypes prior to World War II,

    Spanish talkers struggled to derive a bridgehead in mainstream U.S. civilization. As the Hispanic

    population increased, societal and political organisations developed to turn to a assortment of urban and

    rural issues. Profiting from the additions of the activism of the sixtiess, a greater figure of second- and

    third-generation Latins, armed with instruction and advanced accomplishments, entered the larger corporate and

    media markets. Many were determined, nevertheless, to keep their cultural heritage. Most surely

    the successes of Latins gave rise to optimistic thought ; one Latin leader thirstily announced that the

    1980s would be the “ Decade for Hispanics. ”

    The accomplishments and convulsion faced by Latin participants coincided with major developments in the

    larger Spanish-speaking universe. Other Latins sought to keep cultural ties in an unfamiliar and

    arbitrary environment. The battle to accomplish acknowledgment and para in the major conferences was portion

    of the larger Latin pursuit for equality in the United States. Indeed, the experiences of Latin participants in

    the major conferences provided a alone position and frequently brought into clearer focus the larger

    Latino experience.

    PHOTO ( COLOR ) : Viva Baseball


    By Samuel O. Regalado

    Copyright of Hispanic is the belongings of Hispanic Publishing Corp. and its content may non be copied without

    the right of first publication holder ’ s show written permission except for the print or download capablenesss of the retrieval

    package used for entree. This content is intended entirely for the usage of the single user.

    Beginning: Latino, Apr99, Vol. 13 Issue 4, p42, 2p, 1c.

    Item Number: 1783747

    Result 11 of


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