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Latino Athletes Made 2015 So Fun to Watch

Latino athletes made headlines throughout 2015. We were treated to plenty of homeruns, knockouts and goals – lots of goals. Here’s what went down this year:

Joey Bats and the bat flip seen around the world:

Credit: @MLB/Vine

It took Jose Bautista 11 years to play in the MLB postseason and he made it a memorable one. The Dominicano’s epic home run helped the Blue Jays defeat the Texas Rangers in Game 5 of the ALDS. Unfortunately for Bautista, the Blue Jays couldn’t get past the eventual champs, the Kansas City Royals.

The UFC went to Mexico for the first time and two Latino heavyweights faced off.

cain-werdum
Credit: UFC / sherdog.com

UFC held its first pay-per-view event in Mexico City, and Brazilian Fabricio Werdum punished Cain Velaquez to snatch the UFC Heavyweight title. Although Velasquez was returning to the Octagon after a 20-month layoff, most experts expected a much closer fight. Werdum, known for his jiu-jitsu game, kept the fight standing and surprised Cain with his improved striking game. Werdum controlled the fight and submitted Velasquez in the third round of their bout.

Leo Messi continued to show he’s from a different planet.

Credit: @jacob/Vine

Leo Messi nearly broke Jerome Boateng’s ankles (and Twitter) after this brilliant goal against Bayern Munich in the first leg of the Champions League semifinal back in May.

The Kansas City Royals found their “savior.”

Good morning mi gente DIOS los bendiga???

A photo posted by Salvador Perez (@salvadorp13) on

Credit: @salvadorp13/Instagram

Venezuelan and Royals catcher Salvador Perez was named the World Series MVP after Kansas City defeated the Mets in five games. And of course, Royals fans began calling Perez their savior.

A Mexico vs. Puerto Rico boxing matchup leads to another title for Canelo.

Credit: @canelo/Instagram

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez capped an unforgettable 2015 by defeating Miguel Cotto in November to win the WBC middleweight belt.

Hey, this Carlos Correa kid can play!

Taking flight at Minute Maid… Fun one last night #astros #win

A photo posted by Carlos Correa (@teamcjcorrea) on

Credit: @teamcjcorrea/Instagram

Puerto Rican sensation Carlos Correa concluded his magical first year in the big leagues by winning the AL Rookie of the Year. The Astros’ shortstop is drawing comparisons to Alex Rodriguez (before everyone hated Alex Rodriguez).

Chicharito quieted his haters with a clutch goal.

soccer

A Mexican and an American rode into the history books.

We Love Kentucky

A photo posted by Victor Espinoza (@espinozasvictor) on

Credit: @espinozasvictor/Instagram

Mexican jockey Victor Espinoza and his horse American Pharaoh captured the first Triple Crown since 1978.

The new pound-for-pound king is from Nicaragua.

Credit: @chocolatitobox/Twitter

Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez was named the new pound-for-pound king in boxing after Floyd Mayweather retired. The Nicaraguan boasts a perfect 44-0 record.

Big Papi’s 500th home run.

Credit: @roofoh/Vine

David Ortiz added to his Hall-of-Fame resume by joining the 500 home runs club. Big Papi said 2016 will be his last season in the MLB.

Canelo-Cotto event produced the fight of the year, but it wasn’t Cotto vs. Canelo.

Credit: @elbandido13/Instagram

Francisco Vargas was headed for a loss against Takashi Miura, but the Mexican warrior rallied despite a swollen shut right eye. In an epic ninth round, Vargas knocked out the Japanese boxer to win the WBC featherweight title during the Canelo-Cotto undercard.

After lots of controversy, Mexico beats the USA in CONCACAF Cup.

Credit: @Soccermemories/Vine

After advancing through the CONCACAF Gold Cup in controversial fashion – Mexico was awarded questionable penalties in matches versus Costa Rica and Panama – Mexico defeated Jamaica soundly to win the title. That led to a face-off with the US in the CONCACAF Cup. Paul Aguilar’s goal in overtime lifted Mexico past the United States at the Rose Bowl in October.

The Hawks go streaking to start 2015.

#Repost @atlhawks Great month of January! Let's keep getting better. #ATLHawks #HawksRising #Proudofmyteam

A photo posted by Al Horford (@al_horford) on

Credit: @al_horford/Instagram

Dominican power forward Al Horford was a major reason why his Hawks went 17-0 in January and extended the streak to 19 games.  Atlanta advanced to the Eastern Conference finals where they fell to the Cavaliers.

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Residente Tried Out For The Chicago Cubs And Javy Báez Was There To Coach Him

Entertainment

Residente Tried Out For The Chicago Cubs And Javy Báez Was There To Coach Him

MLB / YouTube

Residente and Javier “Javy” Báez playing baseball is the kind of sporting moment we needed.

MLB is rolling out an original series on YouTube and it will give you a chance to see some celebrities take to the field and try their stuff. “The Tryout” started May 18 and the first celebrity up to bat is Puerto Rican rap superstar René “Residente” Pérez Joglar. The show merges both baseball and entertainment in a new and fun way. The show is centered around baseball because, well, MLB, however, it does create special moments of the athletes and celebrities. There is an ease to their conversations that is akin to an interview but just feels like a conversation between friends.

Now, Residente was pretty confident in his abilities to play the game. After all, he has spent his life playing the sport because it is one of his favorite hobbies. Though he tried to temper everyone’s expectations, Residente did say that he would do decent at tryouts. It shouldn’t be a surprise that the “Atréve-Te-Te” singer played catch, caught some ground balls, and batted. Yet, the conversations they had about the best Latino baseball players and their beloved Puerto Rico are where the magic happened.

While warming up, Residente and Báez spoke about Hurricane Maria. It has been three years since the hurricane devastated the Caribbean island they both call home. Maria left millions of American citizens living in Puerto Rico without power, running water, and essential services for many months. When the hurricane happened, Báez and Residente knew that they had to do something.

Residente and Báez swapped stories about where they were during the hurricane and what they did in response. Residente was on tour in Chile and Argentina when the 2017 hurricane killed thousands of people. He immediately went into action and began collecting supplies the people of Puerto Rico needed and sent it all by military plane.

Báez had a similar reaction. The Chicago Cubs player was playing a game when the hurricane hit Puerto Rico. Báez wanted to do something so he was able to convince his manager to send some help. At first, Báez said his manager was concerned he was going to try to go to Puerto Rico but he told the manager that wasn’t possible so they collected supplies and sent them by plane to the people.

There are more episodes of “The Tryout” coming to YouTube soon.

READ: Javier Báez Of The Chicago Cubs Shows Off Athletic Physique In ESPN’s Body Issue

NFL Cancels International Games For 2020 Season Because Of The Same Thing Canceling Everything Else

Entertainment

NFL Cancels International Games For 2020 Season Because Of The Same Thing Canceling Everything Else

Hector Vivas / Getty Images

The NFL has made some limited successes in breaking into an international audience. Part of that strategy has been playing games abroad. Mexico City and London have hosted several NFL games to bring the American sport to international crowds. However, like everything else we love, the NFL is canceling these games because COVID-19 is still a thing.

The NFL is canceling its London and Mexico City games for the 2020 season.

The NFL is canceling the games because of the uncertainty surrounding travel because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has infected more than 1.2 million Americans and killed more than 77,000. The U.S. has the highest infection and death numbers in the world from the pandemic.

Officials for the NFL made the decision to move the games from abroad for the overall goal of stopping the spread of COVID-19.

“After considerable analysis, we believe the decision to play all our games domestically this season is the right one for our players, our clubs, and all our fans in the US, Mexico, and UK,” NFL executive vice president, chief strategy and growth officer Christopher Halpin said in a statement. “We greatly appreciate the support of our governmental and stadium partners in Mexico and the United Kingdom, who all agree with this decision, and we look forward to returning for games in both countries in the 2021 season.”

As some countries begin to ease some of their lockdown measures, the fear of a second wave is looming over the global community. Some countries have already seen some second spikes that they have fought to combat.

International fans of the sport are saddened by the news but understand.

The international games are the only chance for foreign fans to enjoy American football. With a few games a year, these fans really look forward to finally being able to don their favorite team’s jersey to cheer them on to victory.

“We also thank our incredible fans in those territories for their passionate support of the NFL,” Halpin said in a statement. “We will continue to serve them through our outstanding media partners and by being active supporters of both grassroots football and COVID-19 relief efforts in Mexico and the UK.”

Even American fans are sad that the teams are missing out on their international games.

If there is one thing that football fans love it is more football. The international games would play in the morning in the U.S. offering a full day of football before Saturday Night Foot. It is hard to overdo something that you love and football is something that people who love really love.

There was one thing of which all of the fans on social media agreed.

The Jaguars in an international game? For some fans, it was too much to understand. The Jacksonville team is not the most popular in the league and their season is calling for 16 away games this season.

READ: A Man Was Arrested By ICE After Criticizing Their Policies So Two NFL Players Bailed Him Out