A Word on Jackie Robinson Day

While this is a very important remembering when Jackie made his way up the dugout steps that day, we feel that the media, when addressing issues such as race, the dwindling numbers of African Americans in MLB (8% is often the most repeated number), and what MLB is doing to correct the problem such as building academies in the inner-city and exposing more black youths to baseball, don’t always speak to the bigger message.

The media never addresses Latin players.  Latin players, mostly light-skinned, were the ones to “break” the color barrier.  While Robinson may have “been the right guy at the right time” for the African-American sector of society, Latin ball players from Cuba, the Dominican, and Central America were the ones who first endured ridicule and hate when owners began to import this pool of talent to the Negro League and Major League baseball.  What does it say when a large population of baseball players today are of  Latin or  South American decent, and yet the media only focuses on Jackie and African-Americans?

Given that the Hispanic population will soon become the largest minority in this country in a matter of a few short years, we believe it is time that the media begins to educate, as they have with Robinson, the country at large about the stories of Latin ballplayers.

To tell the story of baseball, it is important to tell the whole story.  MLB needs to recognize Latin ballplayers of the past (not just Roberto Clemente) like they have for Robinson.

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