Monday, June 21, 2010

Racists in Boston?

I've received messages on Twitter and Facebook of fellow Dodger fans that have experienced racism in Boston during the Dodgers/Red Sox series. I didn't experience anything like that. Well it all depends on how you define racism. I did experience one incident that might offend certain Hispanics. Before I share my little story, let me say that Red Sox fans were great. I never had any problems. Walking out of Fenway Park last night wearing Dodger gear was not a problem. Red Sox fans are smart and they know a lot about Baseball history. Those are the fans I like. Just imagine if these same Red Sox fans come to Dodger Stadium? Would you treat them the same? I hope so. That's why I respect everyone. Why waste your time in fighting with someone that's not a Dodger fan?

We arrived at Fenway Park last Friday a couple of hours before game time and waited in line to enter Gate C. While there, a Hot Dog vendor had his food cart outside and was talking to the fans. For some odd reason, he started talking a lot with my wife. I guess it was his way to try to convince us in buying a hot dog. I did buy one. It wasn't even a hot dog, more like chicken inside a bun with a bunch of fried vegetables. When I payed him for the food, he said "You're illegal?" I just smiled and said "No" He wanted to know more about me. He already knew we came from Los Angeles to catch the Dodgers in Fenway Park. I think it was something new for him to see so many Hispanic fans walking around Fenway. While I know there are many Latin people living in Boston and going to Fenway, he probably didn't see this type of fan base before. While there is a big Dominican and Puerto Rican population in Boston, you won't see a lot of Mexicans or Central Americans.

When I responded that I wasn't illegal, he asked me where my parents came from. I said "My dad is Cuban and my mom is Mexican". He quickly added "Oh, your Dad married the illegal". Again, I just smiled. Why start a fight with ignorant people.

Now I don't know if he was trying to provoke me or just trying to be funny. After eating the hot dog and having more conversations with him, I realized that he is just a man with a different sense of humor. He's a white man that believes that if you are of a different color, you must be "illegal"

Now comes the shocking news...

Fenway Park

He comes up to us and says "You see those Red Sox fans? They are part of Red Sox Nation, they get to go in early and watch batting practice from the Green Monster"

From the picture, you can see the Red Sox fans waiting to get in early to watch Batting practice. You can also noticed the food cart.

"I'm going to get you in, just watch"

I said "Okay, that would be cool" He comes back and gives me a wristband. He tells me to wait a couple of minutes to get me another wristband. He tells the usher to let us in. We arrived at the Green Monster about thirty minutes before the fans can come in.

Why did he do this? Was it because I laughed at his jokes? Or because he realized he's wrong in thinking everyone is "illegal"

A picture of my wristband. 

Red Sox Hot Dog Vendor
At the end, I thanked him (pictured above) for the wristbands and told him "Read more about Ted Williams, you will be surprised to learn that he's Mexican"



Green Lantern JBJ of Sector 1138 said...

teddy ballgame is part mexican? whhhhhhhha?! madness!

i guess us hispanics can be counted on for hitting .400

Roberto Baly said...

Ross said...

Roberto- I consider myself a huge baseball fan, but I never knew this fact about Ted Williams. I'm stoked that I learned something new today!

Roberto Baly said...

@ Ross- Oh wow, cool! :)

Steve M said...

Hi Roberto,
Great seeing you there. I got a lot of great pics I'll send to you as soon as I can sort them. I just saw McCourt at the airport, and he said he wished he could have given us a better showing.

I thought the fans were really nice and was surprised. I'll bet the guy wasn't trying to be a jerk, just trying to be funny and failed. On the tour they told us the only people who can go watch batting practice on the green monster were people who had tickets to sit there and there is a long waiting list. So I think he hooked you up because you were an out of town fan.

I expected to see all kinds of racism but I thought they were pretty nice. Even when I put my Laker towel from Game 7 over the Larry Bird monument.

Dusty Baker's Toothpick said...

Roberto, nice piece of writing my Dodger homey. It sounds like you had a helluva a trip to NYC and Boston. Too bad the Blue Crew laid a big fat egg in Bean town.

Roberto Baly said...

@ Steve - Hey it was nice meeting you! Yeah, it would be neat to see some pictures. Your camera is way better than mine lol :) Thanks!

Roberto Baly said...

@ Dusty Baker's Toothpick - It was terrible. The Dodgers looked lost. I still had fun though. I will be posting pictures all this week.

Digitalral said...

Man a dream come true to go to Fenway Park, I'm glad you had a blast my man looking forward to the pictures this week. GO DODGERS!

Roberto Baly said...

Thanks! :)

Eric "NiƱo" said...

It's really amazing to see how other people perceive Hispanics outside of LA. I do a lot of traveling throughout the US and it never fails to get the initial cold shoulder from clients, or workers at particular venues we happen to be working at. Usually by the end of the day most people are impressed by my work ethic, respectfulness, and intelligence.

It's not uncommon for someone to tell me "you're not like the kind of Mexicans we see around here" or "you're really Mexican, and your parents are from over there?"

At first i used to take offense to it but then i understood that it was more of a compliment. I impressed them and it totally messed with their concept of what a Hispanic should be like.

bbcardz said...

Oh man, Roberto, this is like the best blog entry of yours I've ever read! If I were in your shoes, I probably wouldn't know what to make of his comments/questions either. Is it possible he was joking because he is (partially) of Mexican heritage or related to someone who is?

In any case, you handled it perfectly and it paid off. And telling him about Ted Williams heritage was the perfect capper. I wonder if her ever heard of Nomar Garciaparra, lol.

I only learned of Ted Williams' heritage myself almost a year ago here:

There is also an HBO documentary about Ted Williams that mentions his heritage.

Roberto Baly said...

Thanks guys :)

Anonymous said...

You handeled the situation well, good job and taught the vendor something.

The Red Sox fans we encountered were mostly friendly, respectful and knowledgeable. I loved seeing their passion for the Red Sox (especially how they came to ball the park early and were into the game). A few heckled us in a joking way but didn't say or do anything disrespectful. They welcomed us to Boston/Fenway and commended us for having traveled so far to see our team.

As for the majority of Celtics fans I encountered, they were rude and obnoxious as well as full of "go back to Mexico" comments even before the Lakers beat them.