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The issue of calling Latino players by their given names

Francisco Lindor was delighted and beyond grateful to learn that he was named a finalist for the 2023 National League LatinoMVP award, the oldest and prestigious award given to Latino MLB athletes - Image Credit: Latino Sports

CABO ROJO, PR — Here in Puerto Rico it seems everyone has a nickname. Mine was “Papo”. I remember being called Papo in my early youth days growing up in New York and others would call me “Julito” (little Julio, as my father was also Julio). When I got older and attended college those nicknames disappeared, and I wanted to be called by my given name Julio. Unfortunately, many did not understand the cultural nuances of Spanish names and would pronounce my name Jewlio. I had to constantly remind my professors and friends that my name was not Jewlio, but Julio, pronouncing the J as an H, Hulio.

I explain this to help our readers understand that many Latinos like me who perhaps when they were young allowed our name to be anglicized to make it easier for others to call us. However, after growing and learning more about ourselves, our families and our culture we refused to be called anything but by our given names. The most known of these circumstances in baseball was that of Roberto Clemente who upon entering the big leagues the announcers began to call him “Bob” or “Bobby Clemente.” Roberto would have none of that and he immediately corrected the announcers and the reporters and told them that his name was not Bob, or Bobby, but Roberto.

The first Latin American ever elected into the Hall of Fame, Roberto Clemente – Image Credit: National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

Today in 2024 you would think that this message should be clear to all the baseball teams. Unfortunately, it appears that the Cleveland Guardians need a lesson on Latino culture and why it’s disrespectful when a player is not called by his given name, unless the player chooses, or accepts to be called by another name.

The following is an article that addresses this latest issue affecting Francisco Lindor’s return to Cleveland. We share with you our readers to show that still today in 2024 we Latinos have much to do to help others understand our culture.

Thank you, José de Jesus Ortiz, editor of Our Esquina for your article which we proudly share.

Francisco Lindor deserved better from Guardians

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