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The movie is set apart mostly by the racial treatment as well as ethnic discrimination in the baseball game. For these young boys from Monterey, Mexico, America is seen to be a dreamland utopia, and once they get there, they realize that it is a hard world. Their dreams of gaining some recognition and, respect as participants in what was considered an American sport immediately go out the window upon the harsh, racially charged reception they encounter. What’s more, the film depicts a scenario where even their faith is belittled by elements of religious prejudice, which according to the film’s director, Bill Dear, needed to be shown. This element is best portrayed when one American coach criticizes the boys when they ask for a priest because they wish for a blessing before the game. The team encounters much criticism and discrimination where they are a group of Latin boys playing baseball which is an American game.
In these elements of a movie review, we notice immediately that discrimination is experienced in the first scene of the film where Cesar Faz who is the film’s protagonist gets employed by the St. Louis Cardinals just after discovering that he’s been denied a coaching job which Eddy Stanky, a former Cardinals player-manager, had promised him. During an altercation, Tanner, a Cardinals executive, implies that it wouldn’t be prudent to bring in a Mexican especially with the majors just around the corner. Tanner goes on to remind Cesar that he would still be just but a bat boy in San Antonio if it weren’t for Stanky who discovered him. The betrayal infuriates Cesar who quits immediately and goes back home to Monterrey. There, he takes a job in a steel mill and develops a heavy drinking habit in the process.
The second instance is when the team crosses the border on their way to Mexico, and their luggage gets inspected. They are then told that they should walk all the way into the U.S a distance of 10 miles into Texas wearing their uniform and also carry in paper bags change of underwear for their first game. Also after winning in Monterrey, the team goes forward to Fort Worth where they experience racial discrimination to levels that are unknown to them. Here they find a sign at the bus station restrooms that read ‘Whites Only.’ The team was also never allowed on certain buses as well as other restaurants and were nearly being deported. The Mexican team players had to also deal with being called wetbacks where the McAllen coach that is the opposing team they were playing against shouted to his players not to let the wetbacks get better of them. After their win, the Gazette editor tells his reporter that the win of the wetbacks sells more for them. There was an occurrence that they witnessed where another team had separated another boy from eating with them for being black.
The film portrays the team as inferior where their Spanish accents set them apart and also their historical inaccuracies such as the way Monterrey was viewed as a dusty small town like it was in the 1950s and not as an industrial town. The team players are also described as wetbacks The Coach Cesar recalls a moment when his best friend who because he was not white could not be buried in his hometown cemetery.
Because of their small statue where the other players were bigger by a foot than them in the baseball game this Mexican team was regarded as a minority group. Their physical characteristics had them single out from the rest of the players. Their opponents are white and also wealthier. The coach, for instance, was once called a towel boy of which demeans him and he gets drunk. The Monterey team is viewed to be inferior because of their lack of power in the baseball game which is known to be an American game, and therefore this makes them be treated unequally. After taking their physicals at Williamsport, Pennsylvania a reporter asks intentionally if the Mexican team has also passed. When their coach asks if their game can be rescheduled to their siesta time, his request is put off with laughter from the reporters as well as other World Series officials. This shows that their views were un-regarded as the minority group.
There was an issue of stereotyping that also reflects the racism element that is portrayed in the film. The Monterrey team was the first foreign team to ever participate in baseball that was regarded as an American sport. There was religious prejudice where the coach of the opposing team critics them for wanting a priest to bless them before the start of a game. Another stereotype kind of speech is witnessed where the Gazette editor tells his reporter that the Americans cannot lose in their own game and they have to defend their game against the wetbacks. The film shows that the Mexicans are treated with disrespect for instance during a mass a child bashes a piñata at Cesar and informs him of his sluggish manner. The team is also seen to be skeptical of their capability where they had only brought with them uniforms to play in only one match where Winokur says that they will be there for three days, a day to travel to the place, a day to play and lose and the last day to go sightseeing. However soon after realizing their potential which makes takes them to win the Little League World game.
The ethnic, as well as racial, portrays that are depicted in the film The Perfect Game is harsh as well as graphic and shows the treatment of the other racial groups in social events such as sports. The film shows prejudice where this is regarding religion where their faith is criticized, and also the treatment of inferior groups, in this case, being the Monterey team where they get treated unequally because of their race.