Thursday, June 18, 2015

We Determine the Level

As I traveled through the U.S., I had gone through some chilly snow in Buffalo, daily afternoon rain fall in Orlando, humid sauna heat in Houston, and avoided a flooded highway towards Austin. As I packed my items and finished my dream day in Arlington, I was finally caught by a flash flood storm. I still decided to run to my motel because it was only a few blocks away. Unfortunately, as I ran pretty dry until some stranger decided it would be entertaining to splash me with water. That moment almost ruined my amazing day, but thankfully the trash bag that I was wearing protected my laptop; which had all my cherished pictures and videos of my whole tour.

Ranger’s stadium is located at views distance from the new Dallas Cowboy AT&T Stadium, and during my stroll to the baseball game I had the opportunity to take pictures of the colossal stadium. Once I arrived at Globe Life Park, I walked around and started taking pictures of the beautiful stadium. What had always caught my attention about this stadium was center field. The structure reminded me that Texas is from the south, and that it still has southern influence; both the good and the bad. Once I reached the press box, I set up next to the Japanese reporters and prepared for the game. I covered the game through my social media accounts, and finally figured out what effort and attention it takes to keep a fan informed during a live game.

The Boston Red Sox were introducing their future star pitcher, Venezuelan, Eduardo Rodriguez. That game was his first career debut in the MLB, and it was against the Texas Rangers gem, Nick Martinez. That game was a latino baseball pitching duel, and both pitchers had done their part to keep the other team from scoring points. In the locker room after the game a fellow El Pasoan, Eleno Ornelas, Rangers Spanish Radio announcer, informed me that Nick is of Cuban heritage. I enjoyed that game because I got to see how they reacted to tough situations. Both kept their composure even though there were moments that could have cost them points. They kept most of the best batters under control with their off balance pitching and nasty breaking balls. Red Sox Third baseman Pedro Sandoval went 5-1, and Rangers returning prodigal son, Josh Hamilton, scored the only point for his team. Josh Hamilton was also debuting his return to Texas, since that was his first home game back with his old team. Sadly, my team lost 5-1 when the points came in during the late innings of the game. At the end of it all, the real baseball fan won because it was an amazing pitching game.

Once the game ended we were directed to the locker room, and I had the privilege to interview Nick Martinez, who I felt pitched wonderfully. If you met him on the street, you might question what his personality might be like because of his raw outdoors man look and scrappy beard. Fortunately, I don’t worry about outer appearances, so I approached him and because he honestly seemed more approachable than other teammates I got to experience his professionalism, courtesy, and what stood out the most was his humbleness. He gave all the credit to his catcher for making the great calls and believing in his pitches. I got to see top players like Prince Fielder, Shin-Soo Choo, and barely missed interviewing Josh Hamilton. I also interviewed Shortstop Elvis Andrus, who my high school buddy, Omar Quintanilla, started in place of while Andrus was injured during my friends short stint with the Rangers. He spoke highly of Omar and said he was a very dedicated hard working person, but also a very quiet person.

In closing, that day was what every Major League Baseball fanatic dreams of. The once in a life time opportunity to see the people I admired, and more important to speak to professionals that have helped me and many more people to stay hopeful and inspired while working towards our own goals and dreams. All these gentlemen have worked and still work hard to keep what they have achieved. They battle through situations both on and off the field. Some of these super stars fight mentally, emotional, and physically with their past and present. Love for their families have kept them going, and continue to succeed in what they love. My day was perfect until I was soaking wet, but then I thought about all those professionals I had met and seen. Their lives have not been perfect, but they continue to be successful because they look at everything as something new to learn, and most importantly they know a new opportunity will come. That truly was an unforgettable day, but one thing that stuck out the most in the short interview with Elvis Andrus was the words of encouragement dedicated to his fans,

“Nothing is impossible, we set the bar (standard) to our own success, work hard and you will reap the good things that you sow”

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