Mexico A Fixture on the Baseball Mound
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While Mexico has a lot of sluggers, it needs to beef up its depth with talented hurlers. (Photo : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-z_Mx05eCWkQc6YZNlMGOA/https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9OwZtwKKI4)
Mexican baseball is not something new on American soil. Back in 1981, sports fans and enthusiasts have been treated to a stretch of Fernandomania. The World Series is on the line and the Los Angeles Dodgers have claimed the crown over the New York Yankees due to the sensational plays of Fernando Valenzuela.
The 20-year old pitcher they called ‘El Toro’ is a major reason for LA’s spectacular season. Valenzuela will go on to bag the Cy Young and Rookie of the Year plums while still a newcomer in the league. It may not be the beginning of Mexico’s acclaimed affiliation with baseball but it is one breakthrough moment that has put the nation’s capability to produce talented players.
The defining point has surfaced in 1933 when Baldomero Almeda became the first Mexican to break into the circuit. Since then, more than 120 of his countrymen have made their presence felt on America’s professional mounds. However, Mexico may have trouble generating pitchers.
From 1981 to 1990, Valenzuela is only joined by one knuckleballer. This historical line has been due to be re-written when Julio Urias came close to emerging as a top hurler last year while playing for ‘El Toro’s former team. Dodgers scout Mike Brito shares that the newcomer closely resembles the talents of Fernando Valenzuela.
Mexico’s baseball pitching prowess has surfaced as the country approaches the challenges of this year’s World Baseball Classic. Considering that the Major League Baseball (MLB) has not been entirely receptive about the nation’s throwing capability, team manager Edgar Gonzalez has pointed out that it is not a concern.
However, the Mexican team is far from being considered a force to reckon with. During its last five games in the Classic since 2009, the group has faltered, just snaring a lone triumph along the way. No more than five runs are all that the squad scored in each of its games.
Still, team Mexico remains in the hunt since hitting remains the least of its problems. Even with smaller players like the 6’3″ Erubiel Durazo or the 6’1″ Vinny Castilla around, physicality is a strong weapon for the Mexicans. The presence of the country’s players in the MLB provides a boost to the belief that Mexico is among baseball’s better teams.
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