Brayan Pena has made a career of being a professional backup catcher. Through eleven years in the league his capable defense has served him well in that role. His spirited play and lovable personality have made him a great clubhouse presence. Because baseball is a game, a distraction from the grind of everyday life, it is easy to forget that the opportunity to play it is not something so easily gained for some players. Players like Jose Abreu, Yasiel Puig, and Brayan Pena made great sacrifices for this opportunity. For Pena, the risks were perhaps far greater:
It was my dream to play in the big leagues, but it wasn't like I was some big star and had an MLB team waiting to sign me to a million dollar contract. I was just a chubby 16-year-old catcher from Havana who was a pretty decent ballplayer. If I got caught trying to defect, the consequences would be devastating. Not just for me, but for my whole family.
Now, after sixteen years away from home, Pena was able to return to Cuba during MLB's Goodwill Tour. His story is hilarious, heart-breaking, and incredible. I urge you to read it here:
what else is going on in baseball...
- Hall of Fame elects Griffey, Piazza | MLB.com
- Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Piazza get calls to Hall | MLB.com
- Who didn't vote for Ken Griffey Hall of Fame | MLB.com
- Hall of Fame outlook for those who fell short | MLB.com
- Trammell, McGwire fall short in HOF vote | MLB.com
- Griffey, Piazza make Hall of Fame history | MLB.com
- Three members of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant softball team are now Hall of Famers | MLB.com
- Jay Buhner raised a '24' flag over the Space Needle in honor of Ken Griffey Jr.'s HOF election | MLB.com
- Griffey in '96: The campaign that forever changed the American political landscape | SBNation.com
- Piazza's legacy goes beyond being elected to the Hall of Fame. | Sports on Earth
- The good, bad and ugly of the 2016 Hall of Fame class | SBNation.com
- MLB strikes deal to stream live games in China | MLB.com
- That Kenta Maeda Contract | FanGraphs Baseball
- The Worst Active Base-Stealer | FanGraphs Baseball
- An Alternative Hall of Fame Rating System, Part II: Pitchers | FanGraphs Baseball
- Is it Justin Upton's turn to sign yet? | SBNation.com
- Giants sign Denard Span to three-year deal | McCovey Chronicles
what the cardinals are up to...
KNOW THINE ENEMY...
the nl central
- Pirates sign RHP Trey Haley | Bucs Dugout
- Ken Griffey Junior, as described by a 19th-century British Explorer | Red Reporter
- Brewers signing of Chris Carter plugs a hole | Brew Crew Ball
viva el stuff...
- The fanposts!
Top 5's: Underrated Players, Biggest Disappointments | Viva El Birdos
- Hunt and Peck | Viva El Birdos
- Viva El Birdos Top Prospects 2016 | Viva El Birdos
- Saturday snow forecast for St. Louis: 1 to 3 inches likely : News | STL Today
- 2016 NHL All Star Rosters Announced: Vladimir Tarasenko Blues' Only Representative | St. Louis Game Time
- Kevin Greene, Orlando Pace And Kurt Warner Three Rams Among Hall Of Fame Finalists | Turf Show Times