My office is buried in books, not just in the arcana that I love so much but also new releases that I just throw into the piles, intent on reviewing them until some damn pedo-priest or crazy-ass politician goes nuts. It's on that note that I'm finally getting to review Mexican American Baseball in the Inland Empire, one of those Arcadia Publishing histories that trumps the genre, that not only covers a subject never before bothered with by the official historians but that also does it in an approachable, scholarly style chockablack with factoids, great photos, and history. It covers the entirety of the Inland Empire, from Pomona to the Coachella Valley, and swings from Calexico to East Los Angeles and beyond.
"But" you gentle readers may ask, "what the hell does the 909 have to do with Orange County?"
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Glad you asked, 909Jeff!
This book is part of the Latino Baseball History Project at Cal State San Bernardino, which seeks to document all the segregated Latino baseball leagues in Southern California that date back to the 1920s at least. One of the committee members (and author of this book) is Mark A. Ocegueda, who's been working with the project since his doctoral student days at UC Irvine. And the next book slated in this series is a history of Mexican-American baseball in Orange County, which will appear on bookshelves next year.
Seriously, this is a wonderful book for baseball fans and lovers of Southern California history--and you don't have to be a wab to understand that. Buy it, and realize that in many ways, the IE is more advanced than Orange County--okay, only in beating us to the beaner-baseball-book publishing game haha!