Goldman: Pumpsie Green comes to Boston, or: Crossing the line and standing still

From SABR member Steven Goldman at VICE Sports on July 21, 2016:

The quadrennial presidential election season is always a test of the American ability to withstand cognitive dissonance, and this year’s may be the greatest test we’ve ever faced. Sports, for better and worse, is proof of how well we’re able to manage it. Undoubtedly, some of the people who are irreconcilable on subjects like immigration or how and when black lives matter are also those who turn out at the ballpark to cheer players who are immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and even Mexico, and who support African-American stars whose roots in this country are as deep and sustained as any white player’s.

Which is to ask this question: how does a person love David Ortiz for his home runs or Salvador Perez for his postseason heroics and curse them for being in the country in the first place? Can you applaud Lorenzo Cain or Mookie Betts and list your house for sale if they or their relatives want to move into your neighborhood? The experience of the Boston Red Sox, who this week in 1959 promoted Elijah Jerry “Pumpsie” Green to the major leagues, and thereby put a belated end to the segregation of major league rosters, would suggest that both are possible.

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Originally published: July 21, 2016. Last Updated: July 21, 2016.