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The Latinization of Baseball as Evident in Seattle’s All-Star Game

Latinos representing and dominating the rosters in the 2023 MLB All-Star Game - Image Credit: Las Mayores/MLB/Twitter

SEATTLE, WA — If there was one thing made clear to me in this 2023 All-Star game is that the Latino presence in baseball is quite evident. Flying across the country from New York and landing in the most extreme Northwest state for any Latino could be a cultural shock. However, once I landed in the Seattle Tacoma International airport and entered the terminal one of the first images, I saw was a huge picture of Dominican superstar, Julio Rodríguez. Julio, AKA J-Rod was on an advertisement for Alaska Airlines.

Alaska Airlines advertisement with The J-Rod Show – Image Credit: Latino Sports

A Dominican from a tropical Caribbean country advertising for an Alaska Airlines credit card does have a strange twist unless you know how much Julio is loved in Seattle. His image is everywhere and punctuated every time that he was introduced at the stadium, and you hear the entire sold-out stadium chanting, “JULIO, JULIO, JULIO!”

However, there is much more to the growing Latino presence than Julio Rodríguez and I mean more than Tacos outselling hotdogs.  It was also evident in the number of Latino players participating in this years game. There was a total of twenty-eight Latino players born outside the United States and three Latino players (Nolan Arenado, J.D. Martínez and Bo Bichette) born here for a total of thirty-one Latino players.

J.D. Martinez during All-Star Media Day – Image Credit: Emma Sharon/Latino Sports

In addition, as we detailed in our article on “Latinos Represent In 2023 T-Mobile Home Run Derby.” (https://www.latinosports.com/latinos-represent-in-2023-t-mobile-home-run-derby/) Five of the eight participants in this years Home Run Derby were Latino. The finals won by Dominican Vladimir Guerrero with 25 homers, over Cuban born/Mexican citizen, Randy Arozarena’s 23 was one of the most exciting we have seen that had a lot of sofrito (Caribbean Seasoning).

Randy Arozarena holding his daughter while Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and him share a moment during 2023 HR Derby – Image Credit: Toronto Blue Jays/MLB

Besides the presence of the players, much of the music that is being played in the stadiums today in between innings and the music that the Latino players request when they walk to the batter’s box is Musíca Urbana/Reggaeton (Spanish Rap). I’m sure that Bad Bunny’s music is being heard in all the stadiums in America today.

Some teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers don’t wait for September to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month and do something special geared for the Latino community, they have Taco Tuesdays every week with Mariachi bands and all. The New York Mets and the Florida Marlins have also had musical events like Salsa, or Merengue nights recognizing their Latino fan base.

I cannot end this article without recognizing the growth of our own LatinoMVP awards. How that award grew from awarding one player in 1990 (Rubén Sierra) to today where we award eight players, four from each league. And how the candidates for these awards have steadily grown every year where our recent 2022 ballot had a record total of thirty-nine Latino players.

Adolis García, Jorge Soler, Randy Arozarena, and Luis Robert Jr. share a moment together during ASG Media Day in Seattle – Image Credit: Emma Sharon/Latino Sports

I believe we are seeing the Latinization of baseball.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Blanca

    July 12, 2023 at 3:25 pm

    An article well explain about the Latin community and how much is growing in all baseball. Thank u Latino Sports.

    • Miguel A. Santiago, Esq.

      July 13, 2023 at 10:46 am

      It was so uplifting to hear the Latino players share their comments on the game, in Spanish, and realize how prominent they are in the sports world. Very proud.

      • Julio

        July 13, 2023 at 8:06 pm

        Thanks for your feedback, Much appreciated

    • Julio

      July 13, 2023 at 8:03 pm

      Thanks for your feedback

  2. Sam Martinez

    July 12, 2023 at 8:18 pm

    Great article, it’s incredible to see how diverse we are within the Latino community. Baseball has made strides in including Latinos from all over.

    • Julio

      July 13, 2023 at 8:13 pm

      Thanks for your comments. This helps

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