DRSEA INFORMER: A Blast From My Past
- Updated: March 27, 2011
For the second year in a row, I was recently honored to attend the induction ceremonies at the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame in La Romana. It was also an opportunity to reunite with one of the inductees, Luis Tiant, who I worked with 20 years ago.
Tiant, from Cuba, was inducted along with Fernando Valenzuela, a native of Mexico, Nicaraguan pitcher Dennis Martinez, Panamanian catcher Manny Sanguillen, Puerto Rican designated hitter Edgar Martinez, Dominican outfielder Rico Carty and Venezuelan first baseman Andres Galarraga.
Special honors were also awarded to New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez to recognize his 600th career home run; the family of Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who died last year, received the Tommy Lasorda Award given to non-Latinos who advance the cause of Latinos in baseball. And yes, Rodriguez was accompanied by his girlfriend, Cameron Diaz.
But it was Tiant who made the night special for me. Twenty years ago, we were colleagues at the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University. Luis was very involved in community activities in Boston, where he had pitched for the Red Sox, and it was great to work with him because of the respect he had earned. He also had a great sense of humor that kept everyone in a good mood.
When I reminded him that we had worked together, he said he remembered, but I have my doubts, it being so long ago, but it was still nice of him to say. And it was just great to see him again.