Don’t give in to the hype
Finally! After Major League Baseball absorbed the Negro Leagues, Washington baseball has won the World Series! (Yes, we needed 95 years, but we’re here.)
The victory may be a great time for official Washington. But the invisible, i.e., the vast majority of the city’s population, still suffers. The locals who used to live in the Navy Yard area may get to enjoy a team from their home town in the Series. But it is bittersweet.
Many people of color were displaced to transplant the Nationals from Montreal. Winning the Series will not help those impoverished and displaced residents.
They would be helped if only the Nats’ victory would translate into better housing opportunities for those displaced poor. I doubt that, though. The Series is only bringing more of the same hype we have gotten for the last decade. Although I am grateful for a Washington team winning the Series, the last team to win a Series was not the Senators. It was the Homestead Grays, who, as Jacob Bogage noted in the Washington Post’s Oct. 25 “D.C. Sports Bog” column, could play:
“…Washington’s last World Series team was the 1948 Homestead Grays, who defeated the Birmingham Black Barons, four games to one, to cap perhaps the most dominant stretch of baseball in American history. The Grays, who called both Western Pennsylvania and the District home, won nine straight Negro National League pennants from 1937 to 1945 and 10 pennants in 12 seasons from 1937 to 1948, considered a greater feat than winning a World Series because the championship matchups were not always an annual event. The 1948 series was the last one played, and while the circuit was waning, the talent remained imposing. The Grays started Hall of Famer Buck Leonard at first base. The Barons started a 17-year-old Willie Mays in center field.”
I expect more displacement on the horizon for poor residents around Navy Yard. So, congratulations, Nats. I will be waiting for you with every other fair housing advocate in the city, and we will demand your team and your fans step up and stop displacement.