Entertainment

This Is Why I Don’t See Baseball As A “White Sport” Anymore

I hate to sound like a cliche, but I’ve never really been into sports. Growing up in Los Angeles, my family would watch the Lakers on T.V. or go to an occasional baseball game at Dodger Stadium, but I wasn’t passionate about it unless there was some sort of personal connection I could relate to.

That personal connection came while watching sports with my dad.

That’s my dad!

My dad will literally watch soccer and boxing all day long. I always enjoyed the social aspect to viewing boxing because we’d always have tons of people come over to our house and chip in for pay-per-view fights. I loved the excitement that the outcome of a fight would bring — especially when we’d do a quiniela and someone would win lots of cash.

Sure, sports are a fun social event, but there was still a disconnect between me and the actual sport.

However, when it comes to family, my parents taught me that we’d always have to support each other and be each other’s biggest cheerleader, whether it is sports, music, or whatever.

That is why I actually believed that Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Fernando Valenzuela was related to me.

#fernandovalenzuela #baseballlegend #valenzuela

A post shared by Jessie Caldera'Valenzuela (@jessie_caldera_valenzuela) on

I know that sounds ridiculous, but because my dad never really cared for baseball all that much, it was strange to me that he got so excited when Valenzuela was on the field. But in the ’80s, “Fernandomania” spread throughout Los Angeles, especially in the Mexican community, which was proud to see one of its own perform so well on such a big stage. Also, Valenzuela looked like us! So I assumed, as a kid, that we were related. I believe that is where my love-hate relationship with baseball first began.

I rarely saw any Latinos in baseball as a kid, and it was difficult for me to understand the power of the game without feeling that personal connection the sport. I came to see baseball as a “white sport” and really disregarded it.

My heart and mind began to understand baseball on a different level, and that’s mainly because two people: My husband and late Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez.

Aaron Belz/Instagram @miamifitclub

My husband, Aaron, adores the St. Louis Cardinals on a level that is insane but also very cute. Yet still, I wasn’t going to allow my husband’s passion for baseball take over my life. I didn’t understand the game and still viewed it as an “American” sport. But he had patience with me. He began to tell me about the countless Latinos who were currently playing in Major League Baseball — more than 25 percent. I was floored.

The other man that changed baseball for me was Jose Fernandez, the Miami Marlins pitcher who tragically died in a boating accident last year. His story about how he and his mother fought to come to America from Cuba despite being rejected numerous times really struck a chord with me.

So many other Latino baseball players have similar stories of perseverance. They worked hard, despite all odds, to make something of themselves. It reminds me of my parents.

Facebook/The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame

Not only are these Latino baseball players incredible athletes, but they have huge hearts and have a drive to give back to their community.

I have so much respect for players such as St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who not only do great charity work but also are passionate about their culture.

voy a los mios pago triple ñeta ! #aquinohaymiedocabronesquepajooo ????????????????????????????

A post shared by Yadier Molina (@yadier_marciano_molina) on

I had a blast watching the 2017 World Baseball Classic because so many players represented the country where they come from. It was so moving to see them play with such passion because they wanted to make their people proud.

But now that the MLB has begun, I am so excited to be truly engaged in the game for the first time ever.

Tonight's ?

A post shared by St. Louis Cardinals (@cardinals) on

Now when I watch the Cardinals play, you bet your ass I am cheering on Molina and third basemen Jhonny Peralta, and pitcher Carlos Martinez, but also infielder Matt Carpenter and pitcher Seung-hwan Oh.

I’ve come to learn about all of their stories and now understand that baseball is not just an “American thing.” And it’s not just a Latino thing. It’s a team thing. It’s about sportsmanship and the history of the game, which includes players from all over the world. It’s not a “white sport” like I believed. It’s truly a sport that unites us all.

READ: This Has To Be The Most Nonchalant Bat Catch In Baseball History

Who’s your favorite baseball team? Let us know by sharing this story and commenting in the section below. 

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Dad Of Julio Urías Got A Tattoo Honoring His Son’s World Series Win

Entertainment

Dad Of Julio Urías Got A Tattoo Honoring His Son’s World Series Win

Parents always find new ways to be proud of their children and how to tell the world how proud they are. This includes Julio Urías’ father who recently unveiled his newest tattoo in honor of his World Series-winning son.

Julio Urías’ dad is showing off just how proud he is of his son.

Tattoo artist Andres Ortega Rojas posted photos on Instagram showing off the tattoo. Carlos Urías forever enshrined his sons victorious lunge after Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Rays while a tattoo on his left arm.

Rojas told TMZ that the tattoo took nine hours to complete and that is was Carlos’ first tattoo. The moment captured on Carlos’ arm is one that is etched into the brains of Dodgers fans. It was the first time the Dodger has won the World Series since 1988 ending a decades-long dry spell.

The tattoo is catching everyone’s attention.

People are loving the tribute made to his son with a tattoo. It being his first tattoo is even sweeter. We all know how much our parents are anti-tattoos so seeing this happen is extra touching. Julio is framed by the flags of the Commissioner’s Trophy in the tattoo marking what is clearly Carlos’ most proud moment.

The moment marks a culmination of a long journey to athletic stardom.

Julio first pitched for the Dodgers in 2015. The Mexican baseball player was called up to join the famed baseball team. Carlos and the family made a 13-hour road trip from the Mexican state of Sinaloa to Maryvale Park in Phoenix, Ariz. It was after that long trip that Carlos got to see Julio on the field pitching against the Milwaukee Brewers.

It just goes to show you that anything is possible and that, if you work towards your goals, they can come true.

READ: Dodgers Win First World Series Championship Since 1988 And It’s Great To Be An Angeleno

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Nike Signs This 8-Year-Old Soccer Prodigy At Younger Age Than Messi And Neymar

Entertainment

Nike Signs This 8-Year-Old Soccer Prodigy At Younger Age Than Messi And Neymar

Nike has long been known to scout some of the world’s greatest sports talents, especially when it comes to the world of soccer. It began with Neymar, who signed with the multinational corporation at the age of 13. That trend continued with Real Madrid’s Rodrygo, who, at the tender age of 11, became Nike’s youngest-ever affiliated athlete after dazzling at a youth tournament in New York.

But the bar has been raised once again. This time with an 8-year-old player who considered the next great prospect in Brazilian soccer.

Brazilian football prodigy Kauan Basile has signed with Nike at just 8-years-old.

Kauan Basile is just 8-years-old and he’s already playing for the Santos’ U-9 indoor football team. But now he’s just made history as the youngest player ever to sign a deal with Nike.

“I am very happy with the opportunity to play for Santos, as well as the contract. I like to play football,” Kauan Basile told Gazeta Esportiva

According to reports, the contract with Nike is guaranteed over three years, and there’s an option to extend it for two more. He’s now the youngest player in the world to sign with Nike. Even at the end of his contract, Basile will still be younger than both Messi and another ex-Santos kid, Neymar, in signing his first deal at Nike.

Messi put pen to paper on his first Nike contract aged 15, while Neymar was 13.

The kid is generating tons of buzz worldwide.

Basile’s agents, Mengoni Sports, revealed the news of the Nike deal with a proud post on social media. They wrote: “Today Kauan broke the record of being the youngest player in the WORLD by signing a contract with Nike!”

The post went on to add that “He is pure talent! He has football in the soul, in his heart and in his DNA.”

The sports world has reacted with excitement, especially across Brazil where football plays reach God-like status.

Football runs through Basile’s blood.

Like so many of football’s greats, Basile has the tradition of football in his blood. Both his father and great-grandfather both played professionally. His father Andrezinho was on the roster for Corinthians during his playing days.

And his dad couldn’t be more proud of his son going on to such major success, saying he’s ready for superstardom. He said: “He is a player with an absurd will to win. He has a lot of technical quality.”

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