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Morning Brief: Sixth Street Bridge, ‘Nope’ at Universal Studios, Mexican American Baseball Team History

The sun beginning to set over the downtown L.A. skyline and the newly constructed 6th Street Viaduct.
The 6th Street Viaduct connecting Boyle Heights with downtown L.A. is scheduled to reopen July 9 and 10th.
(Raquel Natalicchio for LAist )
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Thursday, July 28.

By now you’ve probably heard of all of the craziness surrounding the city’s $588 million project: the Sixth Street Viaduct. This bridge – the most expensive ever built in L.A. - was touted as a “love letter” to the city (straight out of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s mouth). But within weeks after launch, we hear there are safety concerns from cyclists and mobility advocates over the bike lanes. And, unfortunately, there've been a few car crashes that have caused the LAPD to shut down the bridge…more than a couple of times.

Then there’s also been something else really interesting going on. The folks in nearby communities are SHOWING up and SHOWING OUT. Whether it’s in their low riders like Councilmember Kevin de Léon on opening day…. snapping quinceañera photos on the side of the bridge…or even getting a haircut.

BUT there’s an issue. Actually a few. One…there ARE cars that drive too fast through the bridge, so it’s kind of a safety hazard to chill there. And TWO…folks in the community feel like there’s a huge disconnect between the city and the predominantly Latino communities that live around the bridge.

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My colleague Brian De Los Santos broke this down for us in his latest story.

Now of course, Brian and I have had several conversations about this bridge. And one thing that he keeps bringing up is the fact that there’s a need for more outdoor space in Boyle Heights.

Brian reports that Boyle Heights is a neighborhood that doesn't have a lot of parks — it has only 0.7 acres of park per 1,000 people. So, right now, residents are finding that space on this bridge.

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So my big question is…with all of the community members going out and celebrating the bridge, and with LAPD shutting it down almost every night, who is this bridge actually for, and why is there such a disconnect?

As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below the fold.

What Else You Need To Know Today

Before You Go...Do You Know The History of Mexican American Baseball Teams in L.A.?

4 men in baseball uniforms stand in an open field. a young boy is in the background
1932: Members of the Los Hermanos Peloteros Team, Alianza Mexicana baseball team in Los Angeles. From left to right: Oscar, Pablo, Antonio and Ramon.
(Shades of L.A. Collection/Los Angeles Public Library Collection)
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It’s time to hop in my little time machine and go on a trip to the past for today’s #tbt little known L.A. history fact of the week.

So POP QUIZ! Let’s see how well you know your baseball trivia. What baseball team won three Spanish American League titles in the 1920s?

If you answered the Los Angeles Dodgers, I’m sorry, Dodgers fan, but you’re most definitely WRONG. Not only was the team in Brooklyn in the ‘20s, they weren’t even called the Dodgers back then.

The correct answer is The Zapateros. They broke the color barrier in L.A. when they were invited by the Southern California Baseball Association to play in the all-white Summer League. 

There’s a whole beautiful history behind Mexican American baseball teams in L.A.and Hadley Meares covered it in LAist.

Let me take you there…do you hear the Mariachi bands crooning? Do you see the children playing? Do you see the folks just enjoying the beautiful Southern Cali weather outside drinking beer and playing ball? It feels so freeing.

But there was some very real discrimination they faced in a country, state, and city that didn’t like the fact they had Mexican heritage running through their veins.

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