Burgos: Jackie Robinson’s significance to Latino ballplayers and fans

From SABR member Adrian Burgos Jr. at La Vida Baseball on January 31, 2019:

I never saw him play in person.

His story was not yet a standard part of Black History Month curriculum, at least not in South Florida, where I grew up.

In fact, I didn’t really get to know Jackie Robinson and his story of integrating baseball until I was in college. And that fact is telling of a generation that grew up prior to 1987, when Major League Baseball’s commemoration of the anniversary of Robinson’s breaking the color line — 40 years after the fact — started a more concerted effort to educate the baseball public about the sport’s integration story.

In my family, we were baseball fans. My abuelitas shared their baseball fandom with me, even taught me through their example how to root, how to be a Latino baseball fan.

But Jackie Robinson? He wasn’t part of our story. Or was he? In ways that I had yet to learn; in ways that were hidden in plain sight. What I learned complicated how I understand the legacy of major league integration; how Jackie Robinson is a starting point to the history, but not the end.

Read the full article here: https://www.lavidabaseball.com/el-profe-jackie-robinson/

Originally published: February 1, 2019. Last Updated: February 1, 2019.