The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002 Page: 618
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
intellectual ability as well as summarize preliminary research on the role
of two Mexican Americans in the history of Texas high school football.2
An increased Latino presence in a variety of professional and amateur
athletic activities (with Scott Gomez's contribution to the New Jersey Dev-
ils' Stanley Cup run and the emergence of Tony Gonzalez as a Pro-Bowl
tight end being prime examples) attest to the inaccuracy of stereotyping
Spanish-surnamed athletes solely as peloteros (baseball players). Yet the
history of U.S. team sport, at all levels, is still framed almost exclusively in
terms of white/black interactions. Jeffrey T. Sammons's 1994 essay,
"'Race' and Sport: A Critical, Historical Examination," is an example of
this inclination.Justifiably, Sammons notes Regalado's contributions, but
his work provides only passing mention of U.S. Spanish-speakers. Only at
the end of a seventy-five-page article does he briefly discuss the value of an
examination of the Latino role in U.S. sports history. In the case of states
or locations with large Mexican American populations, such as southern
Texas and the border region, this omission leaves a gap in historical un-
derstanding of sport and its impact on social relations. This lacuna calls
for the examination of the careers of individuals who, as both athletes
and coaches, have broken down stereotypes of Mexican American intel-
lectual deficiencies and physical limitations.
Given many Texans' infatuation with high school football, the impact
of their success (as both coaches and athletes) on the gridiron can influ-
ence how the broader society views individuals of Mexican descent in
towns throughout Texas. Historians of Asian Americans, Jewish Ameri-
cans, Italian Americans, and Native Americans have made similar argu-
ments. In Crossing Sidelines, Crossing Cultures: Sport and Asian Pacific
American Cultural Citizenship, Joel S. Franks argues that sports (under cer-
tain circumstances) encourage Americans of different classes and ethnic-
ities to cheer for athletes of varied backgrounds and that minorities have
often used athletic endeavor to represent their communities before the
broader public. Steven A. Reiss makes a similar statement about Jews in
'George J. Sanchez, Becoming Mexican American: Ethnicity, Culture and Identity in Chicano Los An-
geles, 1900oo-945 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993); Lisbeth Haas, Conquest and Historncal
Identiztes in California, 1769-1936 (Berkeley: University of Cahfornia Press, 1995); Jorge Iber, Hs-
panzcs in the Mormon Zion, 1912-1999 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2ooo);
Samuel O. Regalado, Vzva Baseball: Latin Major Leaguers and Their Special Hunger (Urbana: Univer-
sity of Illinois Press, 1998); "Baseball in the Barrios: The Scene in East Los Angeles Since World
War II," Baseball Hzstory, 1 (Summer, 1996), 47-59; Mario Longoria, Athletes Remembered: Mexi-
cano/Latino Professional Football Players, 929-197o0 (Tempe: Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingue,
A Richard Pennington, Breaking the Ice: The Racial Integratzon of Southwest Conference Football (Jef-
ferson: McFarland & Co., 1987); Ronald E. Marcello, "The Integration of Intercollegiate Athletics
in Texas: North Texas State College as a Test Case, 1956," Journal of Sport Hstory, 14 (Winter,
1987), 286-316;Jeffrey T. Sammons, "'Race' and Sport: A Critical, Historical Examination,"Jour-
nal of Sport Hstory, 21 (Fall, 1994), 20o3-278.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002, periodical, 2001; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101222/m1/674/: accessed October 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.