Latinos and Racism in Baseball
It was in 1869 that the first Major League Baseball team was create, the Cincinnati Red Stockings. Since then baseball has grown to be America’s nation past time. From San Francisco to New York City, every young boys dream is to one day grow up and play for the big leagues. The formal game of baseball originated in New York, and spread westward with the soldiers in the Civil War and those heading to partake in the Gold Rush. Presently the game of baseball is a world-renowned sport. Countries from all over the world have baseball organizations. Yet still we can see racism and racist structures within the game of baseball.
While it may be hard to imagine now, baseball’s originated as an elitist game. In 1845, a group of white collar New Yorkers founded the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club. The group was a club of elite men who liked to play baseball in their leisure. They were the first organized baseball team, many others played the game but none had officially organized themselves (Koppett 5). Shortly after forming, the club published a set of rules dictating the size of the field, distance between bases, and distance between pitcher and batter. While most of the rules were altered over time, the transformation of a schoolyard game into an actual sport had taken place.
The first official game played by the team was a disaster. They were a collection of well-to-do men who organized themselves based on social standing. However, the team they played was a collection of individuals who could play the game well, and the Knickerbocker’s lost 23-1. As Leonard Koppett points out, this was an important moment for baseball because winning with good ballplayers became the central focus of teams, not merely serving as an elite gentlemen’s club.
Between the first official game in 1845 and the 1860s, two events helped spread baseball from the East Coast to the rest of the country. The first was the Gold Rush. Citizens who had...
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