Entertainment

This Is Why I Don’t See Baseball As A “White Sport” Anymore

I hate to sound like a cliche, but I’ve never really been into sports. Growing up in Los Angeles, my family would watch the Lakers on T.V. or go to an occasional baseball game at Dodger Stadium, but I wasn’t passionate about it unless there was some sort of personal connection I could relate to.

That personal connection came while watching sports with my dad.

That's my dad!
CREDIT: That’s my dad!

My dad will literally watch soccer and boxing all day long. I always enjoyed the social aspect to viewing boxing because we’d always have tons of people come over to our house and chip in for pay-per-view fights. I loved the excitement that the outcome of a fight would bring — especially when we’d do a quiniela and someone would win lots of cash.

Sure, sports are a fun social event, but there was still a disconnect between me and the actual sport.

However, when it comes to family, my parents taught me that we’d always have to support each other and be each other’s biggest cheerleader, whether it is sports, music, or whatever.

That is why I actually believed that Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Fernando Valenzuela was related to me.

#fernandovalenzuela #baseballlegend #valenzuela

A post shared by Jessie Caldera'Valenzuela (@jessie_caldera_valenzuela) on

I know that sounds ridiculous, but because my dad never really cared for baseball all that much, it was strange to me that he got so excited when Valenzuela was on the field. But in the ’80s, “Fernandomania” spread throughout Los Angeles, especially in the Mexican community, which was proud to see one of its own perform so well on such a big stage. Also, Valenzuela looked like us! So I assumed, as a kid, that we were related. I believe that is where my love-hate relationship with baseball first began.

I rarely saw any Latinos in baseball as a kid, and it was difficult for me to understand the power of the game without feeling that personal connection the sport. I came to see baseball as a “white sport” and really disregarded it.

My heart and mind began to understand baseball on a different level, and that’s mainly because two people: My husband and late Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez.

Aaron Belz/Instagram @miamifitclub
CREDIT: Aaron Belz/Instagram @miamifitclub

My husband, Aaron, adores the St. Louis Cardinals on a level that is insane but also very cute. Yet still, I wasn’t going to allow my husband’s passion for baseball take over my life. I didn’t understand the game and still viewed it as an “American” sport. But he had patience with me. He began to tell me about the countless Latinos who were currently playing in Major League Baseball — more than 25 percent. I was floored.

The other man that changed baseball for me was Jose Fernandez, the Miami Marlins pitcher who tragically died in a boating accident last year. His story about how he and his mother fought to come to America from Cuba despite being rejected numerous times really struck a chord with me.

So many other Latino baseball players have similar stories of perseverance. They worked hard, despite all odds, to make something of themselves. It reminds me of my parents.

Facebook/The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame
CREDIT: Facebook/The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame

Not only are these Latino baseball players incredible athletes, but they have huge hearts and have a drive to give back to their community.

I have so much respect for players such as St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who not only do great charity work but also are passionate about their culture.

voy a los mios pago triple ñeta ! #aquinohaymiedocabronesquepajooo ????????????????????????????

A post shared by Yadier Molina (@yadier_marciano_molina) on

I had a blast watching the 2017 World Baseball Classic because so many players represented the country where they come from. It was so moving to see them play with such passion because they wanted to make their people proud.

But now that the MLB has begun, I am so excited to be truly engaged in the game for the first time ever.

Tonight's ?

A post shared by St. Louis Cardinals (@cardinals) on

Now when I watch the Cardinals play, you bet your ass I am cheering on Molina and third basemen Jhonny Peralta, and pitcher Carlos Martinez, but also infielder Matt Carpenter and pitcher Seung-hwan Oh.

I’ve come to learn about all of their stories and now understand that baseball is not just an “American thing.” And it’s not just a Latino thing. It’s a team thing. It’s about sportsmanship and the history of the game, which includes players from all over the world. It’s not a “white sport” like I believed. It’s truly a sport that unites us all.

READ: This Has To Be The Most Nonchalant Bat Catch In Baseball History

Who’s your favorite baseball team? Let us know by sharing this story and commenting in the section below. 

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Vanessa Bryant Suing Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Over Leaked Photos Of Kobe And Gianna

Entertainment

Vanessa Bryant Suing Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Over Leaked Photos Of Kobe And Gianna

kobebryant / lacosheriff / Instagram

Vanessa Bryant filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department alleging violation of privacy. The lawsuit stems from behavior by the officers at the scene of her husband and daughter’s death.

Vanessa Bryant is suing the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

On Jan. 26, a helicopter carrying Kobe and Gianna Bryant, Payton and Sarah Chester, Alyssa, Keri, and John Altobelli, Christina Mauser, and pilot Ara Zobayan crashed in the Calabasas hills. The sudden death devastated those who knew Kobe and the city of Los Angeles that mourned his death for months after.

Vanessa was shocked to hear that the sheriff deputies took photos of her husband’s and daughter’s bodies at the crash site.

“This lawsuit is about accountability and about preventing this disgraceful behavior from happening to other families in the future who have suffered loss,” Vanessa’s attorney, Luis Li, said in a statement. “The department formally refused Mrs. Bryant’s requests for information, saying it was ‘unable to assist’ with any inquiry and had no legal obligation to do so. It’s now for a court to tell the department what its obligations are.”

Bryant is suing the department claiming damages for emotional distress, negligence, and invasion of privacy.

Kobe fans are upset with the LACSD and the allegations that the deputies took these photos.

According to TMZ, Sheriff Alex Villanueva knew about the photos taken by eight deputies and shared within the department. They were also shared in the Lost Hills Sheriff’s substation. Sheriff Villanueva told the deputies to delete the photos from their phones and felt confident they did so.

A trainee allegedly shared the photos with a woman in a bar.

A witness to the event said that a trainee took out his phone and showed a woman the photos to impress her. The bartender overheard the conversation and filed an online complaint about the trainee and their behavior with the photos. The trainee showed the woman the photos a few days after the crash leading many to believe that the sheriff’s department was fully aware of the photos.

Kobe fans are standing behind Vanessa as she follows through with her lawsuit.

Reports state that the sheriff’s department told deputies to delete the images to avoid disciplinary action. The coverup is sparking outrage by Kobe fans who are angered that the department did not do enough to protect the dignity and privacy of all of the victims of the crash.

Mitú will update this story as it continues to develop.

READ: Vanessa Bryant Forced To Respond To ‘Beyond Hurtful’ Comments Made By Her Own Mom On ‘El Gordo y La Flaca’

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The Climbing Cholitas Of Bolivia Scale Mountains In Skirts And Snow

Fierce

The Climbing Cholitas Of Bolivia Scale Mountains In Skirts And Snow

Great Big Story/ Youtube

In the capital city of La Paz, Bolivia 11 Indigenous women have set out to climb higher than the sexist expectations of their world. The women come from an Indigenous group known for their bowler hats and brightly ornate clothing. They call themselves the Cholita Climbers and they’re willing to go to great heights to reach their dreams.

Up until recently, the Bolivian Aymara women worked as cooks and caretakers for wealthy families, men, and mountaineers from across the globe.

According to the Guardian, the women worked on high-altitude camps for years helping crews setting out to reach the highest peaks of the Andes. One day, the women decided to strap on crampons (shoes that are necessary for traveling on glaciers, snow slopes, and frozen waterfalls) and scale the mountains on their own.

While “Chola” is often interpreted as a derogatory term for indigenous women in certain Spanish-speaking countries, the Climbing Cholitas have taken back the word and found power in it. As a group (whose members range from 24 to 52 years old), the women weather the dangers of icy mountain terrains while holding on to ice axes and wearing their traditional dresses.

In some incredible pictures taken of the woman, they can be seen wearing colorful dresses called polleras.

The women have set out to climb the highest peaks in South America, including Aconcagua. For the time being, they’re setting their sights on scaling eight mountains higher than 19,700 ft.

Speaking about their experiences Dora Magueño, a 50-year-old member of the group, told the Guardian that she cried when she first climbed Huyana Potsí. “I’m strong, I’m going to continue and get to the top of eight mountains.”

Ultimately, the group wants to steak a Bolivian flag on the summit of Aconcagua. The mountain is located in the Argentinian Andes near the border with Chile.

Check out a video of the women below!

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