And as is often the case with sweeping societal changes, the influx of Spanish speakers in this country has been reflected on a smaller scale in sports, specifically baseball.
According to data from the MLB Central Office, nearly 30 percent of MLB identified as Latino on Opening Day this season. That figure was less than one percent in 1947 — the year Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier.
“There’s something to talking about sports beyond just who won the game last night,” said Michael Simon Johnson, a radio producer who will be taking a detailed look at the past, present and future of Hispanic players in his July 10 episode of the nationally syndicated NPR program Latino USA.
“What I came away with realizing is that Latinos really are going to be the future of baseball, both in fandom and in terms of actual participation of the sport.”
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