USA Today’s Bob Nightengale recently hosted a discussion regarding the role of African-Americans in today’s baseball landscape, a chat that included Halos OF Torri Hunter describing Latino players as “imposters” (“we have a theory that baseball can go get an imitator and pass them off as us…it’s like they had to get some kind of dark faces, so they go to the Dominican or Venezuela because you can get them cheaper. It’s like, ‘Why should I get this kid from the South Side of Chicago and have Scott Boras represent him and pay him $5 million when you can get a Dominican guy for a bag of chips?'”). Writing for his MLB.com blog, Hunter attemped today to clarify matters, stressing “I am hurt by how the comments attributed to me went off the track and misrepresented how I feel.” In short, the Angel misquoted himself.
What troubles me most was the word “impostors” appearing in reference to Latin American players not being black players. It was the wrong word choice, and it definitely doesn’t accurately reflect how I feel and who I am.
What I meant was they’re not black players; they’re Latin American players. There is a difference culturally. But on the field, we’re all brothers, no matter where we come from, and that’s something I’ve always taken pride in: treating everybody the same, whether he’s a superstar or a young kid breaking into the game. Where he was born and raised makes no difference.
I was a football player as a kid. Football was my life where I grew up. But people like Scipio Spinks, who pitched in the Major Leagues and saw me play, and my grandfather were able to convince me that I could have a long career in baseball and not tear up my body. I am grateful I listened to them and followed this path. Now I’m dedicated to spreading the word to other young kids.