Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Would you say I have a plethora of pinatas?

The Latino Legends Team nominees consisted of sixty Latino baseball players, ranging from hall-of-famers to current all-stars. The reasoning behind the promotion was However, some exclusions proved to be controversial, including those of Ted Williams and Reggie Jackson. Ted Williams was born to a Mexican-American mother who lived in El Paso, Texas. He hid this from most people, including the notorious racist Boston fans during the time he played in the 1930s and 1940s. One can wonder whether Williams was ashamed of his heritage, or simply hid it to avoid racism, but Reggie Jackson never hid his heritage. He even had the name Martinez in his name, and called ‘his people’ Hispanics. He even defended dating white women, which was near taboo during his playing days, by reminding his teammates that he was Hispanic. Jackson self-described himself, and still does, as Hispanic and African-American, but the hall-of-famer was left off the Latino Legends Team. The explanation Major League Baseball gave for this decision was that the nominees must have a ‘direct connection to their Latino heritage’. Heritage involves parents, and both had Hispanic parents. However, a spokesman for the league said that Williams’ inclusion would ‘cause havoc’. The inclusion of Latinos on a Latino Legends Team would only cause havoc if the intent was not a true representation of the best Latinos who ever played the game, but simply a marketing campaign which the sport used to help Latino fans identify with their favorite players. A key phrase in concluding that the team was used as a marketing tool is that the nominees should ‘represent the Latino community’. The Latino community that Major League Baseball envisions would not connect to Ted Williams or Reggie Jackson, despite their enormous accomplishments, but would instead need someone to relate to based on outward appearances.

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