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With a Crowd of Diverse Faces, Dodger Stadium Stands Out
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LOS ANGELES — Angie Varela was 13 when she went to her first Dodgers game, in 1975. She took a bus by herself from her home in East Los Angeles, and sat in the bleachers on a sunny day in Chavez Ravine.

It was a different era, and Varela, who is of Mexican descent, recalled how she stood out amid a sea of white faces. But nothing could dissuade her from her blossoming devotion to the team.

Since that day, she has been going to Dodger Stadium regularly, thanks to season tickets in the upper deck in some years. And now when she goes she is a part of a crowd that is considerably more diverse and includes many fans who are Latino. And all of them are united in their Dodger blue.

“In the ’70s, I didn’t feel the love so much,” she said before a recent playoff game. “Then, in the ’80s, there was a huge number of Mexican-Americans that came out because of Fernando Valenzuela. But now? This is the most I’ve ever seen.’’

Across baseball, the crowds at major league stadiums are often not so diverse, reflecting the overwhelmingly white makeup of fans in general, according to studies, though a quarter of the players are from Latin America. Interest in other sports and high ticket prices, among other factors, tend to suppress Latino turnout.

Latino attendance can be seen in other ballparks, including Minute Maid Park in Houston, but the scene at Dodger Stadium seems to stand apart.

“The diversity is fantastic,” said Jaime Jarrin, the Dodgers’ longtime Spanish-language radio announcer. “When I first started in this job, the Latinos coming to the ballpark were about 8 to 10 percent.’’

Now, he said, he believes the figure to be around 45 percent. “It is the most of any park,’’ he added. “Oh, by far. But we have also seen many Japanese people and Korean people here, too.”

Jarrin, who is originally from Ecuador, has been broadcasting Dodgers games since 1959. He said he has seen a steady uptick in fans at Dodger Stadium who come from various backgrounds.

Assumptions about someone’s ethnic identity can prove false, and much of the available evidence about the diversity at Dodger Stadium is anecdotal. Stan Kasten, the Dodgers’ president, said he had no statistical data regarding the ethnic composition of the fans at Dodger Stadium. Still, he said the team cherished that its fan base was noticeably diverse.

• Category: Ideology • Tags: California, Diversity, Hispanics 
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  1. I dunno. Just one man’s humble opinion, but there’s a lot of wishing and wanting in the article. I see the scenes from all around the stadium and all *I* see is a sea of White faces. Same for RedSox games, Patriots’ games, all the expensive sports leagues, a sea of White, heh..

    Go on, tell me where I’m wrong..

  2. “The diversity is fantastic,” said Jaime Jarrin, the Dodgers’ longtime Spanish-language radio announcer. “When I first started in this job, the Latinos coming to the ballpark were about 8 to 10 percent.’’ …

    Jarrin, who is originally from Ecuador, has been broadcasting Dodgers games since 1959.

    The term “Hispanic” didn’t exist in 1959/1960, but in 1970 Los Angeles city was 61.1% white, 17.9% black, 17.1% Hispanic, 4.8% other. For some reason the US Census doesn’t give current racial data for Los Angeles city, but Los Angeles County is 26.5% white alone, 9.1% black, 48.5% Hispanic (or 44.5% white Hispanic), and 15.1% Asian.

    Jaime Jarrin has simply seen the city’s changing demographics reflected in the baseball stands. Interesting racial maps of Los Angeles from 1940 to 2000. (LINK)

  3. Mexican faces aren’t “diverse”. They all have dark hair and rust colored skin.

    Waldstein should open his eyes, look out at the world outdoors. Instead what he sees is a projection on the inside of his skull.

    Go outside, Waldstein. Look about you. White Europeans have the most diverse coloration of any population on the planet. There is no comparison. Africans, Asians and Hispanics are just varying hues of black and brown while we Europeans rejoice in our unparalleled variety of skin, hair and eye color.

    (Another second-rate Jewish thinker playing an infinite-loop tape in his brain. Are they all this unimaginative and repetitious? And to think that some fool once told me that Jews were smart.)

  4. I was down at the ballpark in Cleveland this summer and I seen two Chinamen! I don’t know what would happen if all them Mexicans showed up. I heard they eat snakes and lizards.

    We don’t have none of that diversity in Cleveland. We only got, let’s see, Germans, Irish, Eyetalians, Hunkies, Russians, Ukrainians, Poles, and even some Jews. One of our best sportswriters is a Jew, fella named Lebovitz. Oh, yeah, and the colored folks. But they’ve only been coming to the ballpark since ’47 when Larry Doby came up. No, we have no diversity here. Just lots of different nationalities.

  5. Wow. Big news there, Waldstein. More Mexicans in California, thus more Mexicans at Dodger Stadium. Is that the kind of brilliance that got you your New York Times job?

    Oh, it’s so beautiful to see a “diverse” sea of brown…

    … replacing blondes, redheads, brunettes, green eyes, blue eyes, brown eyes, rosy checks, freckles, red lips, tan skin, pale skin, olive skin, and pink skin. Yes, it’s great to watch California rid itself of all those monochromatic European gentiles, isn’t it, Mr. Waldstein?

  6. Let’s be honest for a moment. “Diversity” has nothing to do with being diverse. “Diversity” means “non-white”.
    Up until a year ago I taught at a public school that prided itself on being “diverse”. The school, and surrounding neighborhood, was dominated by Asians, mostly ethnic Chinese, then Vietnamese, a few Philippinos, a few Indians, a small handful of blacks and Hispanics and a few whites. The ethnic Chinese dominated. A few years earlier, someone had left a copy of an old yearbook for school in the teachers’ lounge. I thumbed through the book and noticed the “ethnic” makeup of the, supposedly, non-diverse student body. There were Italians, Germans, Scotch-Irish, English, Poles, French, Dutch, Swedes, etc., etc. A few blacks and a few Hispanics. “But” you would claim “they were all white and European” Yes, but today they are all yellow and Asian. How is one more diverse than the other unless you define “diversity” as meaning non-white?
    BTW, I loved teaching at that school. Lot’s of very bright students who never create discipline problems. But I would not want to teach at a “diverse” school in Baltimore or Los Angeles. Just saying.

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