Monday, June 04, 2018

Minor League Migrants and Remittances

I've written about migrants and remittances more times than I can count.* But we don't tend to think of remittances when it comes to baseball. You hear about the players from Latin America who sign big contracts but not so much about the guys in the minor leagues. In this vein, Patrick Cusick has a good post at East Village Times, a site focusing on San Diego sports, especially baseball (East Village is the area where Petco Park is). He writes about Latin American players on the Lake Elsinore Storm, the Padres' A-level minor league team.

What caught my eye in particular was a former player who now works with the team say that since players don't know English and want to send money home, sometimes you might eat less. It's such an ordeal to order in an unfamiliar language.

“You can go to a city, and not be familiar with what they have. So sometimes, you don’t eat because it’s easier,” Pagan revealed. “I wouldn’t eat very well, so I would send that money to my family because it would help them much more.” Pagan would continue, “We would wait for the meal money and send it to our families because it was like an advance and it was easier than having those conversations.”
 Pagan estimates that nearly 80 percent of most Latin American player’s paychecks are going back to their families. Granted, some players have been fortunate enough to see big bonuses on signing day, but that is not the norm. For every big bonus given out by a team, there are many other players signed for much less. That stress can take a toll on a person, let alone a player outside of their comfort zone that is expected to save a franchise.

The vast majority of players will not hit the big contract. Players in the minors earn very little and Latin American immigrants are scraping by to send remittances back, just the same as immigrants in other occupations. Baseball seems glamorous but the money is bad in the minors. Add culture shock and language barriers and it's rough.

*This is not true. I could actually count if I wanted to.


  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP