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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

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Viva Baseball Research Paper Subjects HISPANIC
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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

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