The Power of Baseball and Role Models in Latin America
In many countries around the world, the socioeconomic problem is so bad that they are granted the title of a Third World country. Countries that are not quite as bad, such as most Latin American countries like Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, often have trouble, on a smaller level, of creating jobs and job security for its people to inspire work ethic and incentive to raise the socioeconomic bar that has been set below average. Sometimes, all it takes is a role model; a person who is from that respective country who has made a name for themself of continental proportion to inspire the rest of the country to fight against the low standard that has been acquired. This paper will discuss how in Latin America, the people of these countries have found hope and incentive to work through the hardship and hard work of certain professional baseball players that had either defected or were lucky enough to work their way into the American professional baseball system. Because these players have struck gold on such an enormous level, a global level, they have given the poorer and disadvantaged people of their country a reason to fight to make their situation better. These players have given back considerably to their communities and their countries which makes them the role models they are today.
“Puerto Rico is a self-governing commonwealth of the United States and is not subject to the imposition of tax levies by the continental United States except for Social Security, workman’s compensation and several additional labor benefits” (Sennholz). So, the apparent question is, why is Puerto Rico such a poor country? To be perfectly honest, their lack of natural resources is the major reason that they do not command any power in the international market. The federal government controls all international trade for the commonwealth and it does not consist of much. Fortunately for Puerto Rico, it is considered to be one of the most beautiful places in the world to visit so the tourist attraction of the island is tremendous. However, because most of the jobs in Puerto Rico are government jobs, there is no real inspiration to aspire to be something greater than a government employee. This is where, thankfully so, social role models in the form of professional baseball players and others comes in to play a significant role as they represent hard work and autonomy.
The current population of Puerto Rican players in professional baseball today is around five percent. This is an incredible increase since the number of players during the eighties was only two percent. The meaning and point of this is that as can clearly be seen by the dramatic increase, the Puerto Ricans have learned through the past that hard work and perseverance pays off in the end. It is not only in baseball that this return rate can be seen. Unemployment has gone down in Puerto Rico since the...