Before reading this article, I already knew a little bit about how sport was used for Americanization purposes. I knew some of this from our class discussions, and also from my collection of sources for my individual research project. One of the sources I collected for my project has to do with sports being used as an Americanization technique in Native American boarding schools, so the themes being touched on in this article were already a little familiar to me!

This article also talked a little bit about how the YMCA played a role in making sports like baseball more mainstream in Puerto Rico (and the religious influence of this organization), which was familiar to me because of our readings from two weeks back.


I found the connection between the implementation of sports and physical education into the education system and the simultaneous push for English to be the primary language taught in Puerto Rican schools to be interesting, and of course quite telling of the Americanization being driven by education and sports. The author explains later in the article that despite this push for English to be the first language in Puerto Rican schools, it did not take (and in a way created barriers education) and in 1948 “Spanish would be restored as the primary language of instruction”. I find it interesting that despite this one failure to Americanize in schools through language, sports like baseball that were used to Americanize still prevailed in schools, and in some cases, were popularized by schools (Like at the University of Puerto Rico when it was established!)

Another thing that was “new” to me from this article was that the first baseball game in Puerto Rico (according to the president of the Puerto Rico Professional Baseball Hall of Fame) was played in 1896. This simple fact surprised me, as I didn’t realize that baseball wasn’t already somewhat popular in Puerto Rico. Knowing now what an important sport Baseball is to Puerto Rico, I would’ve expected the sport to have originated there, when instead it was carried over from relatives of Spanish Army men. Though this one fact seems simple and like something a reader may have already known, I think it was a good decision for the author to include – it adds some perspective to the speed at which baseball became popular in Puerto Rico. By the time it was the most popular sport there, it hadn’t even been being played (or at least not recorded) for a century.