St. Louis Cardinals: Removing racism from baseball

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 15: Fans stand for the national anthem before the game between the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park on August 15, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 15: Fans stand for the national anthem before the game between the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park on August 15, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The St. Louis Cardinals and Major League Baseball must do everything they can to keep racism out of the game.

Major League baseball came under scrutiny this year when Baltimore Orioles’ outfielder, Adam Jones, accused a fan in Boston for shouting racial remarks at him during a game. Jones also had a bag of peanuts thrown at him. The St. Louis Cardinals also faced scrutiny in 2016 when alleged racist remarks were made towards former Cardinal, Jason Heyward. Heyward clarified those remarks did not happen at Busch Stadium.

While the action of one or a few do not represent the view of millions of others, there is no place for disgusting remarks in any walk of life. However, yesterday, one commenter on our site decided to spew hatred towards Latino/Hispanic and African-American players, across Major League Baseball, and me.

I’d like to preface the rest of this article as NSFW. The image below contains vulgar language and inappropriate comments.

Every morning, I check the comments on my articles to provide some feedback to other fans. If they take the time to write back, then the least I can do is respond. There isn’t any obligation, but I think part of being a fan is interacting with other fans and hearing their opinions too.

Then I came across this particular comment on one of my pieces.:

I don’t know if this particular person is a St. Louis Cardinals fan or not, but let me hit them with some facts, so they understand the magnitude of what they are saying. According to Pew Research Center, as of 2012, 26.9% of baseball players in the MLB were of Latino/Hispanic descent, overcoming the national percentage of Latinos in the United States (17.0%).

In 2014, only 8.3% of the baseball population was African-American. In 2017, that number is down to 7.1%.

When Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball in 1947, Latinos compromised less than one percent of all players. If you want the math on it, that is a 2,598% increase in sixty-five years. So if you are of the mindset that there are too many Latinos/Hispanics in baseball, we aren’t going anywhere. If you are of the mindset that there are too many African-American players in baseball, there aren’t enough.

For those wondering, the St. Louis Cardinals’ 40-man roster consists of ELEVEN (27.5%) Latinos and TWO (5%) African-American ball players. And this person thinks there are too many in baseball? Laughable.

I’m not even going to go through the names of superstars of Latino or African-American descent. We all know without some of them, the game would be lost. The influences of other cultures in the game is what makes baseball so fun.

Think about the World Baseball Classic. The world of baseball chooses to celebrate diversity. Somebody help me out, did the United States team have any black players on their roster? You bet, including the same Adam Jones from above, who people celebrated as the new Captain America. No one wants to bat an eye at that, right?

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If you are a St. Louis Cardinals fan and agree with this person’s way of thinking, you are a hypocrite and do not deserve any of the joy the players bring you.

Many of them have had to overcome extreme circumstances to get this point in their lives, and you want to shun them because they are different from you? Laughable.

Let me be very clear to this person and to anyone who thinks like them: There is no room for racism in baseball and in any part of life. I will always #SayNoToRacism.

What happened in Boston to Jones, and Heyward’s incident, is the worst humanity has to offer. I truly believe MLB will create a safer environment for fans and players of different backgrounds. Perhaps that starts next year with MLB’s Fan Code of Conduct policy.

I can’t exactly imagine how the players feel when they experience something like this, but yesterday I got a taste of it.

Being targeted by racism or discrimination isn’t fun. It’s one of the worst feelings in the world, and I would never wish it on anyone. If you never experienced it, then you’re lucky. I have friends back home tell me stories all the time of someone looking at them because they are African-American or they talk a different language.

I’ll admit, discrimination doesn’t come my way as often as others. In that regard I am fortunate, but it doesn’t exclude me from being targeted. I played baseball and soccer in high school and there were times where I am sure I was made fun of for the way I look.

I even thought some of my teammates would purposely try to hit me with a pitch if we were doing live batting practice. To this day I still think some of my former teammates probably do not like me because I am not white or because I have certain views. It’s a shame because I felt like I got along great with my teammates. I guess it just goes to show how naïve you can be when you’re young.

You never really know who thinks what until you see it for yourself, but I guess they were cowards much like the commenter from above.

Here is my reality: I am different. I am a young, Puerto Rican male living in the “Heartland of the United States.” My hair and eyes are darker than most. My skin is tan. I occasionally listen to reggaeton or salsa on my way home from work.

To me, there is no greater honor than being from Puerto Rico, the island of MLB legend Roberto Clemente and St. Louis Cardinals’ Yadier Molina. There is no shame in displaying my country’s flag in my home and in my car. This person’s action does not define me. But I guess, I, and Latinos in baseball, are just too different for some people in this word.

There probably isn’t any reasoning with this particular person, but in 2017 we are still dealing with this gross mentality.

I mean I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, given the two articles I referenced above or what happened in Charlotesville. But no matter how many times I see it or experience it, it hurts to know there are people in the world who truly think like this on a daily basis. It hurts to see someone so sick and twisted voice their displeasure for me, Latinos, and African-Americans in baseball because we are different.

I love baseball, the St. Louis Cardinals, and who I am. If I let bigot define who I am as person, what does that say about me?

Next: Cardinals trade Mike Leake to the Mariners

You know, I honestly feel bad for this person. This person chooses to hate because of skin color or cultural differences. We fear what we don’t understand, right? You will never experience the world’s riches being a bigot and only loving yourself because of your skin color.