Fenway Park, the oldest ballpark in MLB, embodies the best of baseball: tradition, family and the American spirit—that is, if you’re white. For Boston’s black and Latino communities, Fenway has represented a cruel racial history of exclusion. But that history started to change once the Red Sox witnessed a string of powerhouse Latino players like Nomar Garciaparra and Pedro Martinez, prompting the stadium to fill with Dominican flags, Caribbean music and a whole new culture the city didn’t know it had.

Latino USA‘s Digital Media Director Julio Ricardo Varela tells the story of how he betrayed his Bronx roots and became a Red Sox because of this change.

Photos (clockwise): Nomar Garciaparra (Rob Poetsch), Pedro Martinez (Arturo Pardavila III), David Ortiz (Keith Allison), Julio Ricardo Varela (Annette Nielsen)