Friday, November 6, 2009
Hideki Matsui of Kanazawa, Japan was awarded the MVP trophy Wednesday following the Yankees’ 7-3 Game 6 World Series victory over the Phillies. He was one of six immigrants on the field, not to mention other players who were the children of immigrants.
Watching the baseball game on TV, I couldn't help but notice many of the last names of the batters coming to the plate - Ruiz and Cano - and the pitchers on the mound - Martinez and Rivera. It was cool seeing Dominicans and Panamanians in the big game.
It’s been a great week for immigrants in sports. Meb Keflezighi, the Eritrean born runner, pointed at the U.S.A. emblazoned on his shirt as he crossed the finish line to win the New York City Marathon.
To be clear, this is not a post about illegal immigration. These athletes are all in the country legally.
But in today’s political climate, and on this blog, the debate can lump all immigrants together.
Legal immigrants here sometimes tell me they feel they have to defend their heritages because so many believe Latino and illegal are synonymous. So it’s nice sometimes to be reminded there are all sorts of immigrants in this country: athletes, musicians, judges, and politicians.
And, in the midst of the angry rhetoric, their contributions can be forgotten.