The project of recovering the history of the Negro Leagues, and in so doing establishing a more complete account of U.S. professional baseball's segregated past, is fertile ground for interrogating the possibilities and limitations of diasporic frameworks. This article examines the problem of the color line in baseball and interrogates how the writing of black baseball history—itself a revision of the traditional narrative of U.S. professional baseball—has often obfuscated the place of Afro-Latinos. Rather than examining the history of African Americans and Latinos in baseball as two distinct strands, my approach endeavors to complicate our understanding of racialization, transnational history, and diaspora by focusing on their participation in this circuit where their professional aspirations overlapped and intersected. Specifically, as a means to discuss the place of Afro-Latinos within baseball history then and now, this article revisits the public outrage at the “snubbing” of Buck O'Neil along with the more muted reaction to Afro-Latino Orestes “Minnie” Miñoso not being elected in a special Hall of Fame election in 2006. The varied reactions provide an opportunity to engage popular narratives about black baseball history, the place of Afro-Latinos within baseball history, and the study of the African diaspora within the Americas. The focus on the treatment of Afro-Latinos within these narratives, I argue, illuminates a selective revision of baseball's racial history, one that minimizes the impact on and contributions of Afro-Latinos and also diminishes the international and transnational dimensions to the struggle to overturn racial segregation in U.S. professional baseball.
Skip Nav Destination
Adrian Burgos; Left Out: Afro-Latinos, Black Baseball, and the Revision of Baseball's Racial History. Social Text 1 March 2009; 27 (1 (98)): 37–58. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01642472-2008-016
Download citation file: