The Los Angeles Dodgers are celebrating Latino Heritage Month with a look at various contributions by Mexican and Mexican American semi-pro players to Southern California baseball.
The team’s media partners, @Dodgers social media, and the Dodgers’ game broadcast will also tell stories throughout the month of the club’s current and past Latino players from Ivan DeJesús and Fernando Valenzuela to Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig, and honor the club’s deep connection with the Latino community.
The celebration will culminate with a specially themed “Access SportsNet: Dodgers and SportsNet LA” game broadcast of the Dodgers-Angels game on Saturday, Sept. 26 — the date when “La Gran Fiesta Viva Los Dodgers” would have taken place.
“As a Latina and the daughter of Mexican immigrants, it brings me great joy to celebrate the contributions of Mexicans and Mexican Americans who helped build baseball culture in Los Angeles,” said Naomi Rodriguez, Dodger vice president, External Affairs & Community Relations.
“Hispanic Heritage Month is about honoring our culture’s impact on society — and baseball — and it’s these stories of barrio baseball that helped build the foundation and a lasting legacy for Latinos in the Major Leagues.”
The celebration kicked off Sept. 17 with the airing of “Our Stories/Nuestras Historias: Barrio Baseball — An LA Baseball Story.” The story was virtually shared with more than 500 high school and college students, moderated by Giselle Fernandez and featured González, Valenzuela and Dr. Richard A. Santillán, professor emeritus at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and a contributor to the Latino Baseball History Project Baseball Book Series.
“For us, they paved the way and they brought that love for the game of baseball to our culture, to our heritage and for us it’s very important to acknowledge [this history],” González said. “You see it in the Latino culture, the way that Latinos play the game, we express ourselves a little more…we’re having fun, we’re enjoying it, it’s part of who we are.”
Video from the event can viewed on https://ladodgers.sharefile.com/share/view/s4342670038c4196b.