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Felipe Alou, 1963: The Latin players need a spokesman to stand up for them. He does have to see the conditions of these countries, face to face.
We need somebody to represent us who knows what goes on in the Latin American countries. He has to understand the economic conditions, the poverty.
I think it is foolish and dangerous to label any people or any nation or any race as having more or less courage, more or less desire to excel than any other group. Gómez: It's America, and here they learn the game a different way than we do. When we come here, we need to adjust to the way they play baseball.
I don't think that's always fair, because baseball has to be the same for everybody.
When that journalist wrote what he wrote, it was something like a mockery. [Studying] was not something I wanted to stop doing, but I had to stop.
And without having the academic achievements that many of the players now have, I have done pretty well in this career for so long.
American players come from college, they come from universities, and we get here at times without any education.
We come here so that our teammates, and the sport, through this window that has opened for us, that they can look at us with more respect.I'm looking at that ball, the one it took me so much preparation and work before and after the game for me to have that result. When they strike me out, I don't stare at the pitcher, I don't shout at the pitcher. If you don't have your mind focused, you can be easily diverted and give up everything.My dad is a messenger, and my mom worked in a factory; they brought home 0 a month between the two of them. Sometimes I felt it affected me psychologically, because even if you have great courage, when I was home, if my head hurt or my back hurt or anything hurt [my mom would say], ' Here son, have some soup, take this.' I had to do it all myself.I appreciate it when the American media comes and tries to speak Spanish. But when some guy comes to judge you, [I say], ' Hey, how are you pointing at me when I don't have a choice?' What happened last year was something that scarred me. And I am proud to say that because I have had the education necessary [to get ahead], not academically, but I learned from life, I learned from my parents.
I do think the batter is being disrespectful to a pitcher if the batter hits a home run and stares at the pitcher. But sometimes, with the batters we have to hit the ball and don't even look at it and run for first. During those moments you can feel depressed at times, but at that moment you can choose one of two things, you can let what that person said sink in, or you can let it make you stronger and lead you on the path that you know is the right one. You come to a different country where you don't speak the language, where everything is different for you -- education, discipline, communication, laws.