As the road to the 2021 Major League Baseball World series championship is taking place, I decided to connect my research endeavours of Hispanic / Spanish heritage with the MLB World Series Championship Tournament. Whist it has been a tumultuous couple of years, given the Coronavirus health pandemic, its psychological and physical impacts, once again it is nice to see cheering fans in the stadiums to support their teams. Although I know too well that the competitive spirit can turn almost violent at times. But one thing or two that COVID-19 health pandemic should teach us is to keep the spirit of sport and sportsman / woman ship alive, without going to the extremity of hurting one-another.
Whist we are happy to cheer on the sport and athletes. I take the time to reflect upon the links of America with Cuba through the sport of baseball. As the sport gained popularity in the United States of America, the Los Angeles Dodgers (LA Dodgers) became the first major baseball team in the West Coast, where the stadium filled with supporters and fans.
Historically segregation existed within the league especially with private clubs, segregation of negro leagues and skin tone discrimination. My focus here does not want to turn to a racial discussion but rather an endeavour to turn our attention to accomplished athletes who did overcome many of the systemic barriers historically within the sport of baseball (Gibson, 2019, p. 364-368). I respect the day that is set aside to honor Jackie Robinson, as Jackie Robinson day as the day when racial segregation ended within the MLB.
I was proud to learn of the Hispanic / Spanish / Latino Americans in Major League Baseball athletes historically and to the present day as follows:
- Cristóbal Torriente – was born in Cuba. Some of the teams that he played for included the Chicago American Giants, The New York Giants and the Kansas City Monarchs.
- Jose Mendez – was born in Cuba, his primary team was the Kansas City Monarchs and pitcher for the team.
- Rodolfo Fernandez – Was born in Cuba his primary teams included the New York Cubans and the Cuban Stars.
- Francisco Luis Coimbre – Coimbre was born in Puerto Rico, the teams he played for included Venezuelan teams, New York City, New York Cubans and the Puerto Rican Stars.
- Bernard Fernandez – Was born in Tampa, Florida, USA. He was a baseball pitcher with teams including: Atlanta Black Crackers, Jacksonville Redcaps and the Philadelphia Stars.
- Adolfo Luque – was born in Havana, Cuba. He was the first Latin American who played for major baseball teams, including Cincinnati Reds team and the Boston Braves
- Martin Dihigo – was born in Cuba, his primary team was the Cuban Stas, his nick name was El Maestro, and he was the first Cuban to be inducted in to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
- Orestes “Minnie” Miñoso, nicknamed “The Cuban Comet” – Was born in Cuba and joined the Cleveland Indians and was the first major African – American player on the Chicago White Sox’ team.
- Roberto Clemente – Was born in Puerto Rico and his primary team was the Pittsburgh Pirates.
- Fernando Valenzuela – was born in Mexico and he was the first Mexican pitcher for Major baseball league teams of: Los Angeles Dodgers, California Angels, Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres, and the St. Louis Cardinals.
- Yoenis Céspedes Milanés, nicknamed La Potencia – Was born in Cuba and played for the major baseball league teams including The Boston Red Sox and the New York Mets.
- José Dariel Abreu Correa – is born in Cuba and is currently a professional and successful baseball team athlete for The Chicago White Sox.
- Pedro Martínez – is a Dominican – American who is a former major League baseball starter for the Boston Red Sox.
- Juan Antonio Marichal Sánchez – is born in the Dominican Republic and is a former major league professional right-handed pitcher, for teams including the San – Francisco Giants.
- Jose Carlos Altuve – who is born in Venezuela and is currently second baseman for the Major league baseball professional Houston Astros team. He was won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award and beyond baseball is a contributing member to the Houston, Texas, Community.
- Carlos Javier Correa Oppenheimer – who is born in Puerto Rico and is currently a professional baseball athlete for the Houston Astros Team and has won the Rookie of the year award.
The beauty of research is when we are able to see it come to life with its practical element, thus; to create and contribute to the social good of society. It is with these words I offer my congratulations to the Houston Astros for their American League Division Series (ALDS) 2021 win!!! And my good-thoughts to all the teams within the MLB World Series Championship 2021!!! All the best and thank you for our proud baseball history as well as history in the making!!!
Reference: Gibson, C. (2019). EL NORTE The Epic and Forgotten History of Hispanic North America. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press.
Related Blog Post: COLUMBUS AND INDIGENOUS DAY 2021.
Notes: These thoughts were originally hand-written on October 12 – 13th 2021.
With Love & Kindness! 🙂