A Letter to Tim Lincecum's Mother (Nanay)

PNNscholar1 - Posted on 07 November 2010

Revolutionary Worker Scholar

Letter to Tim Lincecum’s Mother (Nanay)

By Revolutionary Worker Scholar


The speed of light

Is a vision

That looks right

Back at you

--Tiburcio Garcia-Gray


Dear Mrs. Lincecum:

We in San Francisco are very proud of your son for his hard work and spirit in helping bring the World Series title to the people of our city and to the entire Bay Area. The Filipino Community is proud of Tim not only for his excellence as a pitcher but for his humility and the graceful manner in which he has carried himself. Many words have been used describe your son—"The Freak", "The Franchise". Awards have been bestowed upon him—the Cy Young Award (twice) among others. There are many other adjectives that can be used to describe your son and the things he has and is yet to accomplish. Rather than use words that have already been said, let me just say that we are very proud of your anak, your son.

I read that your family is from Stockton, your family’s roots go back to Hawaii and Mindanao and Cebu. Much of this information is not known or written about, but to our community it is just as important as World Series titles. As you probably know, the connection between San Francisco and Stockton is deep in the history of our people. It is well known that Tim’s father taught him the mechanics of pitching, laying the foundation that would see him achieve greatness in baseball—unprecedented for a player of such a young age. He was told by major league scouts that he was too small to succeed but he overcame it and rose to be the best practitioner of his craft. Watching him pitch is a thing of beauty—the twist of the waist, the dip of the shoulders, the release. It is as if the movement of the Filipino workers of Hawaii—the Sakadas—who live in your son’s bones, is the wind pushing him forward in his dance on the pitcher’s mound. We dance with him and he dances in our minds.

I work as a volunteer at the Manilatown Heritage Foundation. The foundation works to preserve the memory of the manongs who fought their eviction from the International Hotel in 1977. As I sat helping elderly Filipino residents of San Francisco’s South of Market District complete affordable housing applications, the radio was tuned to a Giant’s game. It was towards the end of the season and the Giants were playing a pair of games with the San Diego Padres. The atmosphere in the office was alive. Let’s go Timmy! My officemates cried while working to find our manongs (elders) a decent place to live.

A professor recently wrote that Tim Lincecum’s family background is very much the story of Filipino American history. From migration to Hawaii as part of a generation of Sakadas—young workers recruited to toil on Hawaii’s sugar plantations—to Stockton where a once thriving Filipinotown is being reborn through the work of young activists who refuse to let it be erased from memory—your son’s achievement is a part of our achievement and struggle as a community in this country.

Again Mrs. Lincecum, thank you for all the time and effort you gave that has not been written about. I think of how Tim spoke of his Lolo (Grandfather) Balleriano, who passed away in 2007. He was having trouble in a game because his Grandfather’s passing lay heavy on his mind. He said that he looked to God and to the past and to relatives that have passed on for strength and guidance. To me, that said more about your son than any World Series title. It means more.




© 2010 Revolutionary Worker Scholar




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