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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


Race Newsbeat

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Revisiting the Volatile Season of ‘65

For the next six days, much of Los Angeles was set ablaze and looted in a paroxysm of protest against racism and police brutality. Liquor stores and pawnshops were ransacked, 200 buildings were burned to the ground, and snipers on rooftops took aim at the firefighters who came to help. One young Dodgers fan, then-10-year-old Ozzie Smith, later recounted the harrowing experience to The New York Times.

“We had to stay in the house for a week, maybe two weeks,” Smith said. “My dad would go down to the store for food and come right home. You could hear gunshots all the time.”


Ten miles away at Dodger Stadium, as Maury Wills and company faced the Pirates, management offered rain checks to ticket holders who didn’t feel safe enough to attend. Players, too, were worried.

“I had to drive through that area to get to the ballpark,” Johnson told the Los Angeles Daily News. “People were shooting. There were snipers on the freeway. I wore my uniform because that was my identification. I thought if people saw that I was a Dodger, I wouldn’t get killed.”


“I really don’t think Juan should have been playing at all,” said Willie Mays. “He was pretty strung out, full of fear and anger, and holding it inside.”

Marichal was typically genial and devoted to his Bible studies. But the Juan Marichal who woke up on Aug. 22 to face the Dodgers was not the same man who carried a picture of St. Martin, the peacemaker, in his pocket.

“Juan wanted to fight,” teammate Matty Alou said. “He had the devil inside him that day.”

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Angels’ rookie league team is holding a “Caucasian Heritage Night”

The real outrage should be the spelling of their team name.

This is a thing happening in minor league baseball in the year 2015. I screencapped it because I predict it will be canceled by the end of the day, but as of right now, this is still a promotion on the Orem Owlz’ schedule:...

I suspect that this is born out of a benign yet ignorant impulse. Someone said “you know, it’d be way cheaper for us to combine Italian Heritage Night and Irish Heritage Night and [insert predominantly European country] Heritage Night into just one night.” But by calling it “Caucasian Heritage Night” you sort of change the entire tenor of the thing, ya know? Because there are some seriously different connotations involved once you go with that — which basically mans “white” — over any specific nationality.

But please spare me your “hey, they have Latino Heritage Night” and “Black Heritage Night” and all of that rebop. The idea behind those sorts of things are to correct an imbalance in cultural celebration and appreciation. When you’re part of the majority — especially if you are a historically hegemonic majority — you don’t get special celebrations and things like this. That’s sort of the entire point.



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