World Series has a Latin flavour
By KEN FIDLIN, QMI Agency
|Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Jose Valverde, of the Dominican, throws to the New York Yankees during the ninth of Game 1 of their MLB ALCS playoff baseball series in New York, October 13, 2012. (REUTERS)
SAN FRANCISCO - Nine players active in this World Series are from the Dominican Republic and nine are Venezuelan nationals. Two more are Puerto Rican.
So, of the 50 players in the series, that's 20 from the three main Caribbean precincts where baseball is not just a pastime but an obsession. It is the most international players ever to play in a World Series, according to MLB.
"I spent three years playing winter baseball down there," San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "They have such a passion for baseball. Having experienced that, I don't find it surprising that so many are here in the World Series.
"They play the game similar to the way we played it 50 or 60 years ago. You drive around those countries and you see kids all over the place playing sandlot baseball."
The Latins in this World Series are split right down the middle -- 10 on the Detroit Tigers and 10 on the Giants.
"It's not just these two teams," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "The Latin countries are putting players on rosters all over the major leagues.
"We're very fortunate. The influx of the Latins has been very good for Major League Baseball."