There is a place in Venezuela called Calabozo. It is a small city with a population of about 100,000. There, a 15-year-old boy waits for the bus. This is to go to a city called Maracay. There he heard a rumor that tryouts were being held.
It is a distance of 200 km. It’s literally crossing mountains and crossing water. It took about 4 hours. It was a difficult search, but the results were disastrous. It was insignificant compared to its prominent competitors. No one pays attention. It’s a trudging way back. Someone says something. “Hey, can we meet again in a month? “Come prepared a little more.”바카라사이트
It’s a vague story. One month at most. What difference would that make? I don’t have the honor to go home and see my family. Her mother, in particular, had high expectations. “It didn’t go well. “The speed is only 78 mph (125 km).”
But her mother is curious. Because it says one month later. “You really said you wanted to see me again?” From that day on, the intense camp began. At 5 a.m., a warning goes out. “Wake up quickly.” My mother is in a harsh teaching mode. She drives at you non-stop with a scary face. Running, lifting weights, running again, pitching… . She rolled and rolled until she was exhausted.
The promised time has come. She leaves for Maracay again. This is my second audition. This time she covered 85 miles (137 km). I faced only 2 batters, and that gave me OK. “You turn 16 in September?” This is the age when contracts become possible.
Hand out a business card in English. His name is Jose Leon. He is the Venezuelan scout for the Minnesota Twins. His contract deposit was set at $150,000 (about 200 million won). Now there is only one problem left. If you sign, you will have to be separated from your family. Because he has to take classes in the Dominican League.
His mother holds her hand tightly. “You shouldn’t live as a street vendor like me. “I hope you succeed as a baseball player.” That’s how we broke up. Brusder Graterol (now 25 years old) has been alone since then. He moved around the Dominican Republic and the United States. Life in the minor league is rough and difficult.
And a long time passed. Yesterday (the 20th, Korean time) at Dodger Stadium. A match against the Tigers unfolds. Graterol, the home team’s third pitcher, takes the mound in the 8th inning. The broadcast camera shows a close-up of someone in the audience suite. This is my mother (Ismalia Graterol) who was separated from me in Venezuela.
He finished the inning by handling 3 batters. Her son goes to the dugout and raises his hand to point in her mother’s direction. She had to cover her face with a glove to hide her streaming tears. He is already a recognized major leaguer. He is active as a setup man for the prestigious Dodgers. He has 4 wins, 2 losses, 7 saves, and an ERA of 1.28 in 64 games this season.
My speed was 85 mph when I was 15, but now I can easily exceed 100 mph. On good days, he tops 103 mph. It’s not a straight ball either. It is a sinker-like pitch that falls sharply. He is the most promising member of the Dodgers bullpen.
The son was always worried about his mother. He was anxious about the unstable life and security in his hometown. To make matters worse, relations between the United States and Venezuela deteriorated. It became increasingly difficult to bring him home. He still didn’t give up. After working hard for a long time, he was able to receive important documents (probably visa or green card related) two weeks ago.
Finally, the reunion took place two days ago at LA Airport. The last time I saw it was 7 years ago. “My mother said that the moment we first met. She said, ‘My son has grown so big and so pretty.’ For a 25-year-old who weighs over 260 pounds. “As I hugged him, his mother smelled like home.”
The son’s story continues. “When I was 14 or 15, I was going back and forth. It was common for friends around me to be tempted by drugs or gangs. “It was only because of her mother’s support that she was able to continue playing baseball at that time (her mother was a former softball player).”
It’s a night where his words don’t stop. “I had a lot of hardships even after leaving Venezuela. When I debuted, when I got married, and when I gave birth to my daughter. Her mother wasn’t there. I really wanted to show you what it looks like throwing from a major league mound. “Today, that earnest wish came true.”