Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hall of Fame doesn't address Mexican American experience

From the Los Angeles Times come the story of how the Hall of Fame doesnt' address the Mexican-American experience. Oh, those hyphenateds, how I love them:
One issue the national Baseball Hall of Fame doesn't yet address is the Mexican-American baseball experience, a subject that has received a great deal of academic attention in Southern California in the last few years.
Because when it happens in Los Angeles, it really is important to the rest of the country. And you thought there was an east coast bias for the Red Sox and Yankees?
Although the Southland was a hotbed for Mexican baseball between the 1930s and late 1960s, little information had been collected until Terry Cannon of the Baseball Reliquary, a small nonprofit in Pasadena dedicated to exploring art and culture through baseball, pitched the theme to Cesar Caballero, the librarian at Cal State Los Angeles.
Forgive me if I'm wrong, but the baseball Hall of Fame is actually a 'National' Hall of Fame, which would seem to me that it would cover American baseball, and not Mexican. Doesn't Mexico have a Hall of Fame?

Obviously not, as this has happened:
That led to "Latino Baseball History Project: The Mexican-American Experience," a collection of oral histories, photographs and artifacts later displayed at Cal State L.A., L.A. Trade Tech and more than half a dozen other libraries and museums, winning a prestigious national humanities prize along the way.Portions of those exhibitions will be on display at Cal State San Bernardino's John M. Pfau Library this summer. For more information on "Latino Baseball History Project: The Mexican-American Experience," contact JoAnn Oliver at (909) 537-5118 or at jooliver@csusb.edu.
I'm not against honoring anyone involved with baseball. Its a great sport, and there are lots of people who should be honored. This issue has probably sprung up from the fact that Hall of Fame is currently doing an exhibit honoring Latin American players from the Caribbean. I think that's a good thing, and it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to do something honoring Mexicans (actual Mexicans, you know Fernando and Vinnie), but I don't see how Mexican-'Americans' should get any special treatment. After all, they are Americans, and already have the chance to be honored through election to the Hall.

Honoring Caribbean players is great. Honoring Mexican players is great. And how about the Japanese and South Korean and Taiwanese and Australian and Europeans and Canadians who play the game? Do they all get a special exhibit?

But I don't get why American players need a special exhibit because of an American background. Joe DiMaggio is honored as an American player, not an Italian. Stan Musial is honored as an American player, and not as Polish. What about Ed Porray, who was born on a ship on the Atlantic Ocean, but was raised in the states? Does he get his own exhibit?

I played baseball in the states, and no one is giving me as special exhibit. Why should any American be honored in the Hall just because of where he lives at or what his last name might be?

1 comment:

Aaron said...

You make a good point Ron. If the desire for a Mexican-American wing in the Hall of Fame is pure and not shrill, I guess I can support it. Although I doubt that's the mood.