is presenting an exhibit of team photos, news clippings, baseball gear
and other memorabilia from the history of Mexican American baseball
in Los Angeles. The exhibit runs until June 9.(Carlos Chavez / LAT)
The Chorizeros were the Yankees of East L.A. in the years after World War II. In the barrio, baseball wasn't just a game, it was an event.
By David Wharton,
Times Staff Writer
April 6, 2006
On a Sunday morning washed bright and blue near the start of baseball season, only ghosts ramble around an empty diamond at Fourth and Evergreen streets. There is a puddle out by second base and kids playing soccer down the foul line. Hard to imagine how it used to be. You have to squint your eyes against the sunlight, look back a ways.Back to the late 1940s, when baseball at Evergreen Park was a genuine social event in Boyle Heights. After church, whole neighborhoods congregated there, wives and friends, gossip and laughter, children hanging on the fence to watch.
The memories run hazy with smoke from carne asada on the grill, an old man selling nuts from a cart. The adults brought beer to drink as they sat on crude wooden bleachers and listened to mariachis. On special occasions, a local priest blessed the field.They came by the hundreds — sometimes thousands — for the Carmelita Chorizeros, the New York Yankees of barrio baseball.
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