Years ago I was visiting family in the Dominican Republic. At one point I went to a “Colmado,” sort of like a store or bodega, and there was a picture of younger Sammy Sosa. Anyone who knows me is aware that I don’t really follow sports, and though I recognize Sammy Sosa as he looked during his prime, (the period of competition between him and Mark McGwire back in that era) I don’t know him well enough to recognize younger pictures of him.
Anyway, one of the men at the colmado asked me, “Boricua, tu sabes quien es ese hombre?” Do you know who that man is? He’s very important to us here in D.R. I shrugged I didn’t recognize who the picture was. He was younger, out of uniform, etc. The guy seemed frustrated and he said, “Nosotros conocemos a Roberto.” I was like, “Who?” Then several of the guys looked at each other, “Bori, tu no sigues beisbol? Que clase de Boricua eres tu?” “No baseball? What kind of Puerto Rican are you?”
That’s when it clicked, “Oh, Clemente. Bueno, si lo veo en uniforme, quisas puedo adivinar cual es, pero yo no conozco su cara.” I don’t follow sports, so I don’t know any of these guys. If I saw Clemente in uniform, I might recognize him. The only reason I might be able to recognize Sosa now, it’s cause he made himself look mighty light skinnededed, and this got lots of press.
I never forget how upset these Dominican men were that a Puerto Rican didn’t know about beisbol, and how appalled they appeared that I didn’t recognize their biggest beisbol hero, Sammy Sosa. Sorry y’all, it’s nothing personal, I just don’t do sports, especially baseball. I find that sport boring and insufferable.