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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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Lineup of Color
2007-05-14 08:23
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

From faithful Dodger Thoughts supporter Eric Enders:

On Saturday night, I believe the Dodgers became just the second team in MLB team history to have an all-minority lineup on the field. When Martinez and Tsao entered the game in the seventh, the lineup looked like this:

C Russell Martin (African-Canadian)
1B Nomar Garciaparra (Mexican-American)
2B Ramon Martinez (Puerto Rican)
3B Andy LaRoche (Mexican-American)
SS Rafael Furcal (Dominican)
LF Luis Gonzalez (Cuban-American)
CF Juan Pierre (African-American)
RF Andre Ethier (Mexican-American)
P Chin-Hui Tsao (Taiwanese)

Famously, the 1971 Pirates were the first team in baseball history to have an all-minority lineup, which occurred in only one game, on September 1, 1971. As far as anybody knows, this past Saturday marked only the second time in baseball history this had happened. I suspected it hadn't happened since the Pirates, and confirmed this with Bruce Markusen, a former colleague of mine at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown who is an expert on those '71 Pirates. Here's a blog entry Bruce wrote about that first occurrence in 1971. Anyway, I thought it might be an interesting piece of trivia to pass along.

Comments
2007-05-14 08:50:04
1.   Benaiah
I didn't realize that Russell Martin was African-Canadian. With a name like "Coltrane" I should have figured (this reminds me of the hilarious scene of racial instigation in "The Royal Tenenbaums: "You heard me Coltrane.").
2007-05-14 08:53:19
2.   Branch Rickey
Jeff Kent is the non-monority keeping this from being a daily occurence. See, he must be racist.
2007-05-14 08:58:14
3.   Bumsrap
The ethnicity of America continues to evolve and the population is now shared more evenly between English-Americans, French-Americans, German-Americans, Italian-Americans, Latin-Americans, African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, etc.

Why is it that we continue to identify some American citizens who were born and raised here as only part American and for others we don't?

If someone is not yet an American citizen, or only speaks the language that is dominant of another country, perhaps only works in America on a work visa, etc. then designating them xxxxxxx-American helps define their citizenship status.

Nomar is an American and has fully integrated himself into America and therefore should not be tagged as Mexican-American anymore than someone would be tagged as English-American, in my thinking.

I guess I am not thrilled with this thread.

2007-05-14 08:58:59
4.   Branch Rickey
I posed this question couple of days ago but it got lost in the middle of a long thread... It seems that the only two positions that have any chance of seeing a change are 3rd and right. Since we've determined that there are no 3rd basemen out there who could help, what big bat right fielder could be obtained for a package of Ethier plus pitching? Only worth doing if it's a pretty serious bat. Any ideas?
2007-05-14 09:00:06
5.   Benaiah
3 - I don't know about that Bumsrap, I identify myself as Scottish-Irish-English-Welsh-French-Poodle-American whenever asked. Perhaps the problem is that people aren't specific enough?
2007-05-14 09:01:46
6.   Bumsrap
4 - The outfield has to have Kemp in it before a trade is made for another outfielder. Third is the best opportunity for finding a better bat in a trade in my way of thinking.
2007-05-14 09:06:45
7.   Bumsrap
3 - Keeping track of bloodlines and labeling people with their bloodlines is like sharing the Coca Cola secret formula and takes the adventure out of our melting pot culture.
2007-05-14 09:07:36
8.   Brent is a Dodger Fan
3 There's always the point of view that a person should be able to identify himsef, rather than be labeled as others. If Nomar wants to identify himself Mexican-American, then we should respect that.

[Of course, if he wanted to identify himself as "King of France", we should ask him to seek psychological help. We're talking about self-identification within reason.]

2007-05-14 09:12:31
9.   Branch Rickey
6- I'd like to see that happen too. But short of injury to our current LF or CF, do you see that as being realistic?
2007-05-14 09:13:57
10.   Branch Rickey
6- We've been through the discussion of 3rd before. There truly seems to be no real upgrade out there to be had.
2007-05-14 09:13:58
11.   Bumsrap
I think Martin's mother was French and his father was Canadian. Why is he not French-Canadian?
2007-05-14 09:14:19
12.   Benaiah
8 - I don't think that most black players get that choice though. If you can pass, then you have an option, but everyone who looks "other" ends up labeled, which I think is Bumsrap's problem. My mom is second generation American (her parents were English and she was born out of the country) but no one would call her "British-American." If the melting pot is only melting for the super white, then what is the point.
2007-05-14 09:15:18
13.   Bumsrap
10 - Troy Glauss is being scouted I hear.
2007-05-14 09:15:22
14.   grandcosmo
The idea of issuing people ethnic labels based on your own perception of THEIR ethnicity is very strange.
2007-05-14 09:18:30
15.   grandcosmo
11. And Martin's fraternal grandparents were/are Americans.
2007-05-14 09:20:58
16.   Branch Rickey
Tough post for Jon. I think the lineup thing is a meaningful marker in the battle for diversity but somehow mentioning the marker is a step backwards. This is why the issue is always tough. There will be no discrimination when we don't notice the differences. But until we celebrate and applaud the steps along the way, how will we ever get there?
2007-05-14 09:21:18
17.   BandwagonLa
Ethier's Mexican American?
2007-05-14 09:21:47
18.   Bumsrap
9 - You were talking about trading Ethier and a pitcher for a right fielder. I am saying that I would put Kemp in right before I traded for a fight fielder. When this year's free agent signees can be traded in June, then I would hope trades can be made to create places for Kemp, Bigbie, and Loney on the Dodgers.
2007-05-14 09:22:24
19.   Jon Weisman
I'll accept the critique of the topic. But I feel it is possible to write this without it being a grand commentary on society. I know race is volatile, but on a basic level this really is trivia.
2007-05-14 09:23:16
20.   Bob Timmermann
17
Ethier's mother is.

I believe Nomar Garciaparra would go for Mexican-Egyptian-American and consider himself to be the next Sammy Khalifa.

2007-05-14 09:23:31
21.   gibsonhobbs88
Off topic - but I need to vent! Yesterday, I could hear Drysdale rolling out of his grave belling out in laughter over Umpire Angel Marquez's 'STUPID OVERREACTION" in the Angel Game. Throwing a guy out for having a "slow breaking" ball go awry. He looked the other way when Matthews was plunked with a fastball at the hip after hitting two HR prior then he adds insult to injury by throwing Carrasco out for a slow curve ball that plunked Kinsler in the helmet. Anybody who ever knew baseball knows you don't send a message with a curve ball! So Two years in a row now, the Texas pitchers have gotten away with target practive on Angel batters and Angel pitchers have been tossed in the same game for wayward breaking balls. BUD SELIG has the worst trained umpires in the league or "This lends credence to my theory that he HATES LA BASED TEAMS" Bud applauds the other teams plunking our hitters and only when the Angels charged the field last year was he compelled to hand out suspensions to both teams!! Scioscia must be incensed by now! Next time you play the Rangers, Mike, you guys strike first-plunk one of their their guys in the first with a fastball. The League will not protect you so you have to administer your own justice!!
2007-05-14 09:26:13
22.   Rob M
I had no idea that either LaRoche or Ethier had any Mexican blood. I though Ethier was part Asian, but I wasn't even sure of that. I agree with Bumsrap that these distinctions are more and more meaningless in our heterogenous society, especially among native born and fully assimilated Americans. I myself am one-half Mexican (itself more of a national identity than an ethnic one), but I was born here, have an anglo surname and nobody knows my heritage unless I point it out to them.
2007-05-14 09:26:57
23.   Andrew Shimmin
Once the baby boomers die, that this is a matter of trivia will be taken as implicit. And there'll stop being fifty ED commercials per half hour news broadcast. Colleges will stop offering a courses about The Beatles.

You may say that I'm dreamer. But I'm not the only one.

2007-05-14 09:27:21
24.   Branch Rickey
18. Trying to be realistic here. Do you think any position other than 3rd or Right is going to change this year without injury or significant downturn? Who do you think will be traded to make room for any of those guys?
I like Kemp but excahnging him and Ethier isn't likely to make a significant difference this year.
2007-05-14 09:27:42
25.   StolenMonkey86
17 - and LaRoche too? That one confused me a bit.

What exactly qualifies one as Mexican-American?

2007-05-14 09:28:35
26.   Hythloday
3 - This is perilously close to rule 5 so I will say as little as possible, but people don't want to be American within the context of America (the world is a different story). That people might choose to self identify with a specific group is merely a point of pride. I don't see anything wrong with that draw. It's why I like Sandy Koufax and Hank Greenberg more than I should and why I root for Shawn Green. It is not to separate oneself from the rest, but merely to recognize one's peculiar roots. I think that in that context this occurence is kind of cool. It is too bad it doesn't happen more often.
2007-05-14 09:36:23
27.   Jon Weisman
By the way, Eric originally wrote that Martin was African-American. I wrote to ask him if it should be African-Canadian, and Eric wrote back and said, "Yeah, I'm not sure what the proper term for Martin is, other than 'studly.'"
2007-05-14 09:36:29
28.   Disabled List
19 I'll accept the critique of the topic. But I feel it is possible to write this without it being a grand commentary on society.

To that extent, I'll just say it might've really been nice if the all-minority lineup had gone unnoticed. I'm not faulting you or Eric for bringing it up, but in a truly color-blind society, this wouldn't be mentioned even as trivia.

I'm ok with grand commentary, btw. It's nice sometimes to apply baseball to the bigger things in life.

2007-05-14 09:37:16
29.   Jon Weisman
In any case, if I spent more than one day out of a thousand talking about a player's heritage, maybe there could be more concern. But I'm pretty sure I've given equal time to my own heritage.
2007-05-14 09:37:29
30.   Branch Rickey
I sat at a game with Ethier's mom once. She appears to be American Indian as well as Mexican but all chatterbox! She's American-Indian Mexican-American Chatterbox I think.
2007-05-14 09:38:28
31.   Jon Weisman
29 - "I'll just say it might've really been nice if the all-minority lineup had gone unnoticed."

Basically, it did. If it weren't for one person in a country of hundreds of millions noticing, it might have been completely missed. So I think this qualifies as "nice."

2007-05-14 09:41:46
32.   s choir
/snark
I think the underlying problem is that for some unknown reason, white kids are not playing baseball anymore. I think if Ty Cobb were alive today, he'd be very upset with the state of the game.
snark/
2007-05-14 10:00:50
33.   Jon Weisman
New post up top.
2007-05-14 10:03:19
34.   Suffering Bruin
I can't believe I didn't notice and I was at the game. It's a big deal to me because I was just telling a friend that I didn't think an all-minority line-up would be on the field before my son graduated college (he's ten).

My heritage? Couldn't be more white. My ancestors came over on the third boat after the Mayflower. I sometimes long for something--anything--other than English in the blood. I've gone back to the 1600's... it's lily-white.

My friends think I'm crazy, though, so that may count for something.

2007-05-14 11:10:24
35.   NPB
I'm not so sure that this "achievement" means what it did in 1971.
2007-05-14 11:11:14
36.   NPB
Meaning that we've gotten used to a polyglot society, at least in sports. When the Jazz put five white players out there a few nights ago, it was surprising, almost insulting...

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