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Away Games : The Life and Times of a Latin Ballplayer Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 6, 1999
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Miguel Tejada is a talented shortstop in the Oakland Athletics organization. Tejada grew up very poor in the Dominican Republic and started playing baseball as a means of entertainment and escape. At age 17, he signed a contract (which he couldn't really read) with the A's for a mere $2,000, eventually working his way through the minors to earn a shot at the big-league club. As Away Games illustrates, Tejada is one of the lucky ones. "The Dominican is representative of the roots of Latin baseball, a game in which the stakes have always been higher, success more meaningful, and failure more painful--a brand of baseball that makes the word 'pastime' seem trivial." Indeed, it's a tough road for Latin baseball players trying to make it to the major leagues. For many of them, baseball is a chance to evade a lifetime of poverty and Third World conditions not present in the United States (although those lucky enough to go pro also face significant language and cultural barriers once they head north); Away Games presents them as more than just gifted players who hit the jackpot. --Andy Boynton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Kirkus Reviews
A clutch hit revealing the miseria (misery) of the impoverished, lonely, and disdained Latino baseball players, both before and after the two percent of prospects get a chance in the grandes ligas (big leagues). Bretn and photographer Villegas work for the Sacramento Bee in California and were in a good position to follow the rise of Oakland As prospect Miguel Tejada, whose dramatic story begins and ends the book. Only Sally Struthers is missing from the picture of abject poverty that first locates teenage Tejada in the bleak barrio of Los Barrancones in the Dominican Republic. This account speaks volumes about the desperate aspirations of the young Latin athletes who strive to escape from the Third World . . . from a mind-set of poverty, and then have to compete at the highest level of professional sports while learning a foreign language. The language-cultural barrier offers great moments of comic relief: Venezuelan Chico Carrasquel nearly starts a riot telling a waitress he needs a f___ (when he means fork); Vic Power (really Victor Pellot of Puerto Rico) responds to the icy phrase Sorry, we dont serve colored people here with OK, I dont eat colored people. Less funny are incidents like Orlando Cepeda facing signs that read Speak EnglishYoure in America and former MVP Zoilo Versalles dying penniless. Tejada is signed to the Athletics for a mere $2,000. From the first Latin superstar, Cuban Minnie Minoso, to Dominican slugger Sammy Sosa, this book has all the stats and lineup cards to document how hard the climb to the top has been for Latino players, but by the 1997 All-Star game no fewer than fifteen Latins had been selected. This is an important and well-told story in baseball, which may well foretell a future where the pro rosters are dominated by these talented and hungry young escapees from the barrio. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
This is a good read for understanding the history of Dominican baseball and it even touches on the history of African American baseball history. I recomend this book to people that are true fans of the sport of baseball and appreciate the knowledge of its history.