Latinx athletes have made tremendous contributions in sports all over the globe. The books below, quite simply, are the best books for anyone curious about the various ways that these athletes have overcome obstacles, how they have been portrayed, and how they have continued to have influence inside and outside the sports world.
1. Adrian Burgos Jr.’s Playing America’s Game: Baseball, Latinos and the Color Line is a thoroughly researched transnational story of how Latinos have been a significant presence in professional baseball since the 1880’s to the present.
2. A Home on the Field by Paul Caudros tells a great story about a North Carolina high school soccer team fighting for belonging in a town and state hostile toward Latino immigrants.
3. When Mexicans Could Play Ball by Ignacio Garcia, tells the story of San Antonio high school basketball team who won two state titles with the help of a Mexican American coach.
4. Little Pancho: The Life of Tennis Legend Pancho Segura by Caroline Seebohm profiles Pancho Segura from his early life in Ecuador to his college tennis career at University of Miami followed by a 20 pro tennis career.
5. Mustang Miracle by Humberto Garcia is an inspiring story about a South Texas high school golf team that overcame racism and discrimination in the 1950s to win a state championship.
6. Who Let the Mexicans Play in the Rose Bowl? By Hank Olguin is a memoir by a former football player that describes his successful college football career including playing in the Rose Bowl.
7. Futbolera: A History of Women and Sports in Latin America by Brenda Elsey and Joshua Nadel traces the history of women’s participation in sport in Latin America.
8. Latinos in U.S. Sport: A History of Isolation, Cultural Identity and Acceptance by Jorge Iber, Samuel Regalado, José M. Alamillo and Arnoldo de Leon is a comprehensive history of Latinos and Latinas in U.S. sports from the 16th century to the present day.
9. Deportes: The Making of a Sporting Mexican Diaspora (Latinidad: Transnational Cultures in the United States) is described by Dr. Vicki L Ruiz, as providing “the first transnational history of organized sports as recreation, occupation, and cultural identity among ethnic Mexicans in the Southwest.”
10. In Baseball as Mediated Latinidad: Race, Masculinity, Nationalism, and Performances of Identity, Jennifer Domino Rudolph, “examines the perception by media and fans of Latino baseball players and the consumption of these athletes as both social and political stand-ins for an entire culture.”
We are grateful for the assistance of Dr. José M. Alamillo, Professor and Coordinator, Chicana/o Studies Department, California State University Channel Islands. The editors would also like to note that Dr. Alamillo had no role in the selection of Deportes.