A couple of months ago, I celebrated my 22nd birthday and the start to my Year of Cano. Most people claim the Year of Jordan when they turn 23, but, in my case, Robinson Cano is a reason to celebrate. To give you some background, Cano was born on this day (October 22) 32 years ago in the Domincan Republic. When he became the second baseman for the New York Yankees in 2005, his jersey number was 22. After a couple of seasons, he had to give up his number and became 24. Flash forward seven more years and Cano is now second baseman for the Seattle Mariners and is back to number 22. Thus, the importance of 22.
As many of you may know, Cano is my favorite baseball player (with Jeter’s recent retirement, there’s no more battle for first place) and I feel honored to have been a fan of his since his major league debut nine years ago. Throughout his career, I have seen Cano go from a rookie with potential to a Yankee star and now the Mariners’ best weapons. Cano has become, arguably, one of the best baseball players in the league and I’m sure he’ll only continue to solidify himself in baseball history. Outside of baseball, Cano has proven himself to be an admirable man, only making me a bigger fan of his.
Simply put, Happy Birthday Cano!
If anybody knows me, they know Derek Jeter is right next to Robinson Cano as my favorite baseball players, so knowing this will be Derek Jeter’s last season in the MLB has been tough to swallow. For 20 years, Jeter has represented the Yankees and all of New York in the best way possible, continuing to pave the way for a successful Yankee legacy. Last night, Jeter played his last game in the Bronx at Yankee Stadium and you couldn’t have written a better ending to Jeter’s career. Watching the Yankees play without Jeter will take some getting used to, but, regardless, he will always be part of Yankee history. I just feel honored to have watched him play myself.
My second favorite moment from last week’s ESPY Awards was Michael Sam’s acceptance speech for the Arthur Ashe Award. If you can, take the time to watch the full segment, featuring Sam’s back story with footage from the NFL Draft. It is very touching.
In honor of today’s All Star Game and Derek Jeter’s last season, let’s tip our hat to a legend, the Captain… #2.
Last weekend, Rafael Nadal ended the French Open with a win against Novak Djokovich, securing his place as not only the top seed, but also arguably the best tennis player on clay. This title makes nine total wins for Rafa at the Roland Garros Tournament, which is most wins for any single player in one tournament. To honor the King of Clay, Nike Tennis created a life size sculpture of Rafa in one of his standard victory poses. Of course, the statue was made in none other than red clay. I’ll never forget when I first started watching Rafa play back when he still wore muscle tees and long shorts. I still haven’t seen him play live, but I’m glad to be able to witness this history being made. Congratulations to Rafa on shaping the history of Tennis and props to Nike for noticing!
Yes, I have a love for athletes like Rafael Nadal, Derek Jeter, and Arian Foster, but ask me who my favorite one is and it will be Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano. I’ve been a fan of his since he was a rookie with the Yankees in 2005 and I am still a huge fan of his today. Yes, that means I loved him even way back when he was rocking the 22 uniform number. Now, eight years later, Cano remains as a force to be reckoned with in the baseball world. He’s the main reason I can tolerate a Yankee game at Camden Yards in Baltimore and he is the only reason I will put up with the Orioles fans who have an undying hatred toward him and the other pinstripe bearing ball players. Yes, I do it all for Cano. Number 24. Seriously though, there’s no denying his talent and skill, explaining why the Yankees are working so hard to find a contract that will keep him on their team for some more good years.
At the age of 31, Cano has accomplished so much. He’s solidified his place in baseball history and yet continues to carry himself well. No scandals, no drama, and a lot of positive influence on his fans. I admire Cano as a true talent and I admire the way he carries himself. Nowadays, it can be hard to find good role models in the sports world, but I think Cano helps give athletes and Hispanics in general a good name. All in all, I just wanted to show my special appreciation for Robinson Cano and wish him a happy 31st birthday. I’m excited to see how his career will continue to grow from here and I have no doubt that we are nowhere near the end of his journey.