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.
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.
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.
Last Sunday, New York Yankees veteran Andy Pettitte pitched his last home game through eight innings. As is normal, pitchers were switched out during the game, but, this time, the enormous Yankee family came to the realization that last weekend’s game would be Pettitte’s last at home. The crowd gave him proper recognition and support with a standing ovation and deafening cheers filled with love. Pettitte ran off the field tipping his hat to his fans and then embracing his teammates in the dugout one at a time. For one last time, Pettitte stepped out of the dugout bidding his loyal, pinstripe loving fans farewell. Personally, it was hard watching his goodbye and it was harder to realize that another of the Core Four is leaving the Yankees. Although Pettitte had retired once already, it seems like this time he’s serious and has no intentions of coming back. After the 2013 season, Derek Jeter will be the sole remaining Core Four member on the Yankees and there’s no guarantee that he’ll be a Bronx Bomber for much longer. Seeing Pettitte go is just another reminder that it’s a new age in baseball and it brings me so much nostalgia. I feel like a chapter of my childhood is closing and it’s hard to accept the new face of the team that I’ve loved for so long. Pettitte will surely remain an iconic figure in the New York Yankees franchise and any pitcher following in his steps will have some very big shoes to fill.
On this day in 1934, Roberto Clemente was born in Puerto Rico and, at that time, no one could predict the large impact he was going to have on the world. Clemente played in the MLB for nearly two decades and, during that time, he did more than show his talent to baseball fans everywhere. Considering his various accolades, including being a World Series Champion, an MVP, and an All-Star, it can easily be argued that Roberto Clemente paved the way for so many other Hispanic athletes in the U.S. If you look at major league baseball now, there is no denying the strong Latin presence, which definitely includes some big names like Robinson Cano and David Ortiz, but the truth is they probably wouldn’t be where they are now if it weren’t for Clemente. The Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder was the first Hispanic to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, making it possible for Cano and Ortiz to even have a shot at getting the same honor. There’s a reason why Clemente has stadiums and statues named in his honor, students do projects on him, and baseball will forever remember him. In 1972, Clemente died in a plane crash to Nicaragua where he was going to help earthquake victims. He would’ve been 79 years old today, but it would be more appropriate to celebrate what he did accomplish, rather than focus on what he didn’t have the chance to.
Happy Birthday Roberto Clemente!