Entertainment

Meet The 21-Year-Old Pitcher From Mexico Who Is Already Becoming A Baseball Star

Roberto Osuna, the latest Mexican sensation in Major League Baseball, came out of nowhere last season to become a solid closer for the Toronto Blue Jays.  This year, the hard throwing right-hander is off to a fast start with the Blue Jays and appears to be on the verge of becoming one of the game’s best closers.

The 21-year-old has quickly made an impact in the big leagues. Here’s his first MLB strike out:

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Credit: MLB / Reddit

Yep, versus Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees.

Imagine being on the other end of a pitch like this one:

3 more days!!! 3 dias mas 😉

A video posted by Roberto Osuna (@robertosuna54) on

Credit: @robertosuna54 / Instagram

Scary, isn’t it?

But it wasn’t easy. Osuna was born in a cartel-infested town in Sinaloa, Mexico.

CREDIT: @robertoosuna54/Instagram

Osuna grew up in Juan Jose Rios, a small town controlled by the Sinaloa drug cartel. But Roberto’s time there didn’t last long. Osuna and his family moved to Los Mochis, Sinaloa, where baseball became his life.

Roberto Osuna Sr. spent 22 years as a pitcher in Mexico’s professional league.

A photo posted by Roberto Osuna (@robertosuna54) on

Credit: @robertosuna54 / Instagram

The younger Osuna wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps; he picked up a glove very early on.

☺️☺️

A photo posted by Roberto Osuna (@robertosuna54) on

Credit: @robertosuna54 / Instagram

However, when his dad retired from baseball, Osuna’s family struggled financially.

✌?️!! Osuna's

A photo posted by Roberto Osuna (@robertosuna54) on

Credit: @robertosuna54 / Instagram

Once Osuna Sr. retired from baseball, the income stopped. The family didn’t have enough money to support Osuna Jr., his younger sister and twin brothers.

Osuna dropped out of school and joined his father as a fruit picker.

Dia del nino en mexico!! Bendiciones para todos y los extrano papas ??

A photo posted by Roberto Osuna (@robertosuna54) on

Credit: @robertosuna54 / Instagram

“We were so poor. We ate some eggs in the morning and beans. That’s all we ate the whole day. And we ate some tomatoes from the fields,” said Osuna to Sportsnet. Osuna admits dropping out of school also helped him concentrate on baseball. As a 12-year-old, he joined a traveling team that paid him to play in tournaments overseas. After being paid under the table for his services, Osuna would send the money back to his family.

At 14, Osuna returned to Juan Jose Rios to play youth baseball. He was scouted by Mexico City’s pro baseball team, Los Diablos Rojos.

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Credit: ELNORTEvideos / YouTube

Once Osuna turned 16, he was allowed to sign a professional contract. Everyone wanted to snatch up the teenager who was throwing a fastball in the mid-90s. The Diablos Rojos, a team Osuna Sr. once played for, were the lucky winners.

Osuna only played 13 games for Diablos Rojos… for a good reason.

A photo posted by Roberto Osuna (@robertosuna54) on

Credit: @robertoosuna54/Instagram

Everyone knew Osuna was destined for the big leagues, including the Diablos Rojos. Teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees were interested in the young pitcher, but the Toronto Blue Jays won a bidding war for Osuna’s services. Toronto paid $1.5 million to acquire Osuna. Although most of it went to the Diablos Rojos, Osuna used what was left for him to buy a house for his family in Los Mochis.

After ups and downs in the minor leagues, Osuna got the opportunity of his life.

A photo posted by Roberto Osuna (@robertosuna54) on

Credit: @robertoosuna54/Instagram

Osuna had mixed results in his four years in the minor leagues, but the potential was there. The Blue Jays called up Osuna on April 8 of last year. He appeared in 68 games out of the bullpen and posted an impressive ERA of 2.58 and recorded 20 saves.

Not only did he make it to the Major Leagues, Osuna helped the Blue Jays in the MLB playoffs.

Credit: @robertoosuna54/Instagram

Osuna’s solid pitching was a big reason why the Blue Jays returned to the playoffs for the first time since 1993. Toronto captured the American League East division title and advanced to the American League Championship Series last season before losing to the eventual World Series champs, the Kansas City Royals.

Teammates have embraced Osuna… including superstar Jose Bautista.

Podemos contar con el para el clasicoo ??!! @encadwin @lamelaza_7 @joeybats19

A photo posted by Roberto Osuna (@robertosuna54) on

Credit: @robertoosuna54/Instagram

Bautista appears happy to have the Mexican pitcher on his side. Nice sombrero, Joey Bats.

Despite his newfound popularity, Osuna hasn’t forgotten where he came from.

Shooting my documentary for Sportsnet. Cant wait to show it to Canada.

A photo posted by Roberto Osuna (@robertosuna54) on

Credit: @robertosuna54 / Instagram

Here he is proudly showing off Los Mochis to a camera crew from Canada’s Sportsnet TV network.

And he always carries a little piece of home wherever he goes. Just look at his breakfast:

Good morning ??!

A photo posted by Roberto Osuna (@robertosuna54) on

Credit: @robertosuna54 / Instagram

This season, Osuna will be the closer for the Blue Jays, so expect to see a lot more of him.

Roberto Osuna K’s 2 over 1.1 scoreless frames against the Twins.

A photo posted by Toronto Blue Jays (@bluejays) on

Credit: @robertoosuna54/Instagram 

Osuna won the closer role once again during spring training, which has fantasy baseball geeks drooling over his potential. Osuna, however, is working toward getting the Blue Jays back into the playoffs, and this time, to the World Series.

READ: Kiké Hernandez Of The Dodgers Is A Maniac And His Team Loves It

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The General Manager Of A Pro Softball Team Used Players To Promote Trump’s Anti-Black Lives Matter Message So The Entire Team Walked

Entertainment

The General Manager Of A Pro Softball Team Used Players To Promote Trump’s Anti-Black Lives Matter Message So The Entire Team Walked

bl26softball / Instagram

This week, the pro women’s softball league held its first game in Melbourne, Florida. Soon after the game finished, every member of the Texas-based team called the Scrap Yard Fast Pitch, quit. The reason? The team’s general manager Connie May tweeted a picture of the players standing during the national anthem and tagged Donald Trump.

The women players decided that they’d had it.

In a post shared with Donald Trump on Twitter, May indicated that the members of his softball team are opposed to the Black Lives Matter movement.

According to the New York Times, the team received numerous texts and notifications of the post once they’d finished their game and returned to their locker room. The image was posted without their knowledge or consent and clearly used by May to promote a political message. The woman say that their standing for the flag has nothing to do with their political views.

Speaking about the incident, The Undefeated reports that “When May was brought into the locker room following the game, players expected an explanation.” May instead attempted to justify her post and at some point said “All Lives Matter.” Having heard enough one of the team’s members Kiki Stokes walked out. Soon after the rest of the team (which has only two Black members) followed. Kelsey Stewart, one of the Black players, was not at the game as wrote her teammates with a screenshot of the tweet saying “I am not going to ever be a part of this organization whatsoever.”

Fortunately, the softball team backed Stewart and Stokes.

“Moments later, her teammates took off their jerseys and followed her,” The Undefeated reports. “Every player in the locker room was done after that moment. They would no longer play for May or the Scrap Yard organization.”

Speaking to the New York Times, Cat Osterman a member the team said “The more we talked about it, the angrier I got, and I finally just said, ‘I’m done, I’m not going to wear this jersey. We were used as pawns in a political post, and that’s not OK.”

In a show of solidarity, USSSA Pride (who played against Scrap Yard Dawgs in Monday’s game) suspended the rest of their planned games.

The two teams were on each other’s schedules which means USSSA is likely refusing to win by default.

No doubt it’s pretty powerful these women decided to quit their jobs to stand with Black Lives Matter and their Black teammates. Speaking about the incident Natasha Watley, the first Black player to play with USA Softball at the Olympics called the move “powerful.” “Not one of them stood back and said this doesn’t really affect me, I’d rather play,” she said adding “We’re already getting paid pennies and now we’re going to get paid nothing to stand up for this. That’s how much it matters.”

Vanessa Bryant Opened Up About The Heartbreaking Reason She Blocked Fan Accounts Paying Tribute To Kobe And Gigi

Entertainment

Vanessa Bryant Opened Up About The Heartbreaking Reason She Blocked Fan Accounts Paying Tribute To Kobe And Gigi

Stephen Dunn / Getty

There’s no doubt that in the wake of her husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gigi’s deaths, Vanessa Bryant and her family have received quite the outpour of support from fans. Look up just about any hashtag with their names and you’ll find hundreds of thousands of images of the two deceased Bryant family members and just about as many fan accounts. The images and tributes have meant to be a eulogy to the two basketball players that lost their lives too soon.

Yet, recently Vanessa Bryant revealed that the ongoing support hasn’t always been so positive for her.

On Sunday, Vanessa Bryant opened up about having to take action and remove herself from all the social media love she and her family have received in the five months since her husband and daughter’s deaths.

In a post to her Instagram page, the mother of four, sent a note to fans to let them know that she and her 17-year-old daughter, Natalia, had decided to block fan pages in an effort to keep away from the constant pictures of Kobe and Gianna popping up on their “Explore” pages. In her post, Bryant underlined that she was only blocking the accounts to make sure she was continuing to heal and that it was not being done out of malice.

“Thx so much for all the [love]. @nataliabryant and I have unfortunately had to block fan pages because it’s been really hard to go online and constantly see pics of our beloved Gigi and Kobe under every single square of our explore pages. Blocking the fan pages has helped change the algorithm,” Bryant wrote in a post to her Stories on Instagram.

Vanessa continued to explain that “We [love] you all but please understand that we had to do this for our own healing not because we don’t appreciate your [love].”

Bryant’s Instagram page was made to be private soon after her husband’s death likely for similar reasons.

In a separate Instagram story to her own account Vanessa’s daughter Natalia shared, “We hope that people understand although these fan pages have good intentions, they make moving forward harder since they are constant reminders. Blocking the accounts have helped change the algorithm but we can not go public until the fan pages stop. We love all of your sweet intentions and we hope you understand.” 

Understandably, Bryant and her daughter are sheltering themselves from further hurt during this time.

Here’s hoping their fans continue to support them through this decision and understand their motives. Fortunately, while Bryant and her daughter Natalia have made their accounts private, they are still making their content available through other pages. Recently, Bryant revealed that she had decided to pay tribute to her late husband and daughter Gigi by commemorating their lives with tattoos.

Last week, Bryant took to Instagram to reveal she’d made the decision to honor her husband and daughter with two new tattoos.

Both images were shared with the public via Nikko Hurtado, the artist behind Vanessa’s ink work.

“Shoutout to @nikkohurtado for coming over and helping me get my Gigi’s sweet message transferred on me,” she wrote in a caption to her Instagram page featuring a video of her new tattoo honoring her daughter. The details of the tattoo aren’t totally visible but in the comments, Bryant revealed that the tattoo features her late daughter’s handwriting. “So happy I can see my Gigi’s handwriting everyday ❤️ #mambacita,” she replied.

Bryant also shared a video of herself receiving another tattoo, this time for Kobe.

In a post to her Instagram page, Bryant shared another video of herself. This time the video revealed that she was actively receiving a shoulder tattoo that is meant to honor her husband.

“I wanted my boo boo’s @kobebryant sweet message transferred on me,” Bryant explained in the caption of the photo.

For fans of the Bryants it’s important to note that while Vanessa and Natalia aren’t looking at fan accounts, the art is still available for you to view if it makes you feel better during this time.

Additionally, fans who want to keep up with Vanessa and Natalia and see how they continue to heal can follow friend accounts or stay in touch with us for updates!