Dominican-born baseball player David “Big Papi” Ortiz seems like a pretty chill guy overall, and he’s good at everything from baseballing (I am 3,000% sure that’s the correct term) to making Vintage Papi wine to going undercover in a Lyft.
Papi gave plenty of hints about his true identity to his passengers, including performing his “superstitious” routine for good luck:
Other highlights included Papi shit-talking New Yorkers (lol ok, Boston), and a passenger admitting that the only way she could watch the Red Sox (Big Papi’s team) is drunk. I feel you, girl:
The big reveal was done in the cutest way possible. One passenger shared that David Ortiz is her favorite player, that she’s bummed he’s retiring this year, and has all his shirts. “Actually, all of my shirts are his shirts,” Big Papi told her, right before revealing his true identity:
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.
If you’ve yet to tune into Netflix’s recently released documentary “A Secret Love,” you must check it out. Apart from painting a very vibrant and beautiful love story that has stood the test of time, politics, and social taboos, it also has so much for supporters of the LGBTQ community to learn and absorb. Particularly when it comes to the storyline of the two stars and their connection to the 1992 film “A League Of Their Own.”
Cubana baseball players were left out of the 1992 film which starred Geena Davis, Madonna, and Rosie O’Donnell.
Among the seven women born in Cuba who joined and played for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League were players Zonia Vialat, Luisa Gallegos, Mirtha Marrero, Migdalia Pérez and Gloria Ruiz. All seven women joined the league in 1948. The next year two more Latinas by the names were added, Isabel Alvarez and Isora del Castillo.
In 2011, the AAGPBL teammates from Cuba were honored at a ceremony in New York City where they had their names and photos presented. One of the baseball players involved in the league, Izabel Alvarez even had a documentary created about her experience in the film “Cuba on My Mind: The Baseball Journey of Isabel Alvarez.” Alvarez in particular has been very vocal about her time in the league as a Cuban female baseball player.
According to Grand Valley State Oral history project, “Isabel Alvarez was born in Havana, Cuba in 1933. She grew up in Havana and played baseball with the neighborhood kids and was also involved with other sports. In 1947, she pitched her first exhibition game in American baseball and was picked by the All American League and sponsored to come to the United States with three other Cubans to play baseball in 1949. She played pitcher for the Chicago Colleens from 1949 through the 1950 season. When the Chicago Colleens folded, she went on to play for the Fort Wayne Daisies during the 1951 and 1954 seasons. Upon getting her citizenship in 1953 she stayed in the United States permanently. During her six-year baseball career she also played utility outfielder and also played briefly with the Battle Creek Belles (1951); Kalamazoo Lassies (1953); and the Grand Rapids Chicks (1954).”
Speaking about what sparked her interest in baseball, Alvarez chalked it up to her own mother.
“I think very—my mother was all sport orientated and she knew it was healthy, so baseball they played in the street you know and she let me do the sports, but she didn’t let me do any other things,” says in the video interview. Alvarez who lives in the United States went on to say that she remains very fond of her time in the league, particularly of the Cuban women who joined her. ” If I never would have met those people I would be back in Cuba yet. My mother would cry then, but I’m so thankful, you just can’t imagine how lucky I’ve been. I think I have been, of all the Cubans and I’m not bragging, I have been the lucky one.”
You can check out her full interview about her time in the league here.
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