Baseball in the Tejano Community

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Los Peloteros

Baseball in Tejano Communities

 
SAN ANTONIO – Baseball was the ultimate equalizer. While much of the 20th century was rife with unrest, racial tensions and segregation, teams could take to the ball field to leave the outside world behind.
 
To explore the role baseball played in the Tejano community, the Institute of Texan Cultures will present "Los Peloteros: Baseball in the Tejano Community" as its free Second Sunday activity, 2 – 4 p.m., Sunday, March 8.
 
"Baseball let Tejanos define themselves," said Greg Garrett, museum researcher and organizer for Los Peloteros. "The game was a forum to create an identity within a society that marginalized them. They could play as hard as any team and loved the competition just as much."
 
The museum has called on Joe Sanchez, a former president of San Antonio’s Spanish American Baseball League, to present at the March 8 event. Sanchez’s family has been involved with the league going back to World War II and up to the league’s disbanding in 2005.
 
Also invited is Alberto Rodriguez, a history professor from Texas A&M University Kingsville. Rodriguez has a forthcoming baseball article to be published in the Journal of the West. In addition to drawing on the article for his presentation, he will give anecdotal details about baseball in the Rio Grande Valley where he grew up.
 
"Visitors will leave the museum with a new found respect and understanding of the historical significance the game had in the Tejano communities of Texas," said Garrett. "These peloteros paved the way for every Tejano child who’s picked up a bat and dreamed about the big leagues."
 
To commemorate the event, the San Antonio Missions baseball team will give free baseballs, autographed by former players from semi-pro and amateur teams, to the first 50 children. Additionally, former players and family members will display memorabilia, including photos, equipment and other artifacts, from the early days of organized baseball in San Antonio.
 
The Institute of Texan Cultures is located on the UTSA HemisFair Park Campus, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd., a short distance from the Alamo and the River Walk. Admission to the March 8 event is free, as part of the museum’s Free Second Sundays program. For more information, call 210-458-2300 or visit TexanCultures.com.
 
 

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