BIG Question For Puerto Rican Yankee Fans? • Latino Sports


BIG Question For Puerto Rican Yankee Fans?


South Bronx, NY – I think it’s fair to say that many Puerto Rican Yankee fans are going through a bit of a quagmire this post season.

The reason is that there are some Yankees fans that feel for the Red Sox because of their rookie manager, Alex Cora who is from Caguas Puerto Rico and has become a positive role model symbol to many still suffering from the after effects of an island recouping from a crippling debt and later from the devastation of hurricane Maria that he did much to provide relief for.

As one Yankee fan told me, “I’m a Yankee fan and hate the Red Sox, so I’m going Yankees all the way. However, my hate for Boston has been tempered a bit by the fact that the Red Sox are managed this year by, Alex Cora their first minority manager a Boricua who won 108 games.”

That philosophy has been affecting many Yankee fans of Puerto Rican heritage. William Gerena – Rochet, the former Baseball Editor for I believed summed it up best. He said, “I’m a Yankee fan, but I’m also a Boricua always rooting my heart out following my flag in all international games. For this post season game between the Yankees and Red Sox I will be neutral and what will be, will be.”

There is no question that the Yankees have a huge amount of Puerto Rican fans throughout the Diaspora and in our island nation of Puerto Rico who might be going through the same as William. However, If you know a bit of history, nationality among Puerto Ricans in baseball is not new. Many of our parents and grandparents (and a few who still today know history) detested the Yankees for the way that they treated their minor league star player, Victor Pellot Power, AKA Vic Power a black Puerto Rican whom the Yankees never brought up to the majors.

In his SABR biography, Joseph Wancho points out that while the Yankees were grooming Power to be their first black player, general manager George Weiss thought him to be “impudent” and didn’t like that he dated white women. The Yankees traded Vic to the Kansas City Athletics after the 1953 season and waited until 1955 to make catcher Elston Howard their first black player.

That made many Puerto Rican Yankee fans of the time turn their attention and anger away from the Yankees and many like my father who lived walking distance from the stadium, looked across the Harlem River into the Polo Grounds and rooted for the New York Giants who brought up, Rubén Gómez, a right handed starting pitcher from Arroyo, Puerto Rico who became the first Puerto Rican to pitch in a World Series game.

However, that was yesterday’s history and since 1955 with the signing of Luis Enrique “Tite” Arroyo, the Yankees first Puerto Rican who played from1955 to 1963 the Yankees have had their share of Boricua players like Eduardo Figueroa, John Candelaria, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Ricky Ledee, Iván Rodriguez and Carlos Beltran.

I will leave the rooting for the fans and like William and my daughter, Taína Pabón Powel who lives in Massachusetts, said: “I grew up in the Bronx and like the Yankees, but after hearing about Alex Cora here in conservative Boston I love them both.”

It’s like my feelings for the Central Division Championship games between the Houston Astros – Cleveland Indians. I like and follow Cleveland because of Francisco Lindor, their star Puerto Rican and former LatinoMVP winner. But I also like and follow Houston because of their star Boricua shortstop and LatinoMVP Rookie of the Year winner, Carlos Correa.

So the quagmire continues.

To read more on Alex Cora and his Boston fans, read this: CORA

About Julio Pabón

Julio is President and Founder of Latino Sports LLC., the parent company of Julio is a product of the South Bronx where he still lives and runs his businesses. Julio has written and has been interviewed for numerous publication and networks on sports & political issues. He has been an activist promoting social justice and respect for all communities. He is a recognized motivational speaker, was an adjunct professor of American History and presently volunteer's as a lecturer in local South Bronx High Schools. His primary goal is to make a multi-facet sports portal that will engender social and economic empowerment to the Latino community.

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