The early chapters of Raceball were rather eye-catching in many aspects. Both Latino and black players have had their struggles. For example, a black man by the name of Gary Sheffield proclaims that teams favor Latinos as they are easier to control because they do not stand up for themselves. And in turn, they have unfairly usurped the place of African Americans of equal playing ability. However, it can be argued that many Latino players would struggle to defend themselves anyways as many don’t speak English well and the MLB has struggled to accommodate the many Spanish-speaking players on their respective teams.
In regards to the blacks at the time they were going through a lot of issues themselves. Before the Great Migration, 90% of all African Americans, lived in the South, and due to where they were geographically the chances of having at least their viable baseball league was near impossible. However, even after the Great Migration, it wasn’t like this perfect wonderland. Discrimination still affected the workplace and they were very often the last ones hired but the first ones fired.
What was rather shocking to me was that even though there was still plenty of racism in the North, it didn’t seem to be effective until later on in a person’s life. In baseball alone, baseball was still clearly segregated but in the sandlots of Pennsylvania for example there was plenty of integration. Blacks and whites often played together as boys but once they attempt to join organized leagues is when they had to sort themselves out by race.
From the early chapters, it seems like the author’s goal is to show how baseball affected Latinos and blacks but also how those two respective races affected the sport. While in the early part of the book, there wasn’t a significant focus on how the two races affected the sport you can see the buildup in the early chapters. And this was most shown with the introduction of baseball to Cuba. Cuban baseball quickly grew at a time when Cubans heavily hated their overseers of Spain with the country establishing a league in 1878 which was only two years after the creation of the National League in the United States.