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Must-Click Link: The Béisbol Experience

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We’ve talked often about the differences between U.S. and Latin American baseball culture and the friction that can sometimes cause. Be it controversies surrounding the language barrier, baseball’s unwritten rules, the acceptance — or lack of acceptance — of bat-flipping or on-field exuberance or the concerns about family members living in unstable circumstances in their home country, the life and professional existence of Latin American baseball players in the United States can be a very complicated one.

And that’s before you just get to the day-to-day stuff like where to find some good Latin American food in he Appalachian League.

Today ESPN has a feature in which 50 Latin American players talk about all of that stuff, in their own words. Each of the six large photos on the linked page go to a different topic: Family, Learning English, Food, Money, Ballpark Culture and Identity.

Often conversations about these subjects involve Americans like you and me talking about (or arguing about) it all and asserting what life must be like or should be like for these players. Taking our voices out of it and hearing directly from the ballplayers makes this must-click material.

Sheldon Ocker named winner of the 2018 J.G. Taylor Spink Award

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The Baseball Writers Association of America has named Sheldon Ocker the winner of the 2018 J.G. Taylor Spink Award. He will be honored with the award that is presented annually to a sportswriter “for meritorious contributions to baseball writing” during Hall of Fame inductions in Cooperstown on July 29.

Ocker began covering the Indians for the Akron Beacon Journal in 1981 and did so until 2013, when he retired. He was national president of the BBWAA in 1985 and served as chair of the Cleveland Chapter 11 times. He named Ohio Sports Writer of the Year in 1997 and 2000 by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.