Before they were stars, they were here. David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez became the face of baseball’s biggest rivalry, winning a combined four World Series titles with the Red Sox and Yankees, but both careers started in the same place: northeast Wisconsin.
Now, there’s a new generation of players of Hispanic heritage trying to follow in their footsteps.
“I really look up to David Ortiz and A-Rod, and I think they’re really two guys that you can…cannot compare your game but can compare yourself to the way they take care of themselves on and off the field.”
“The Hispanic population on the game of baseball is incredibly important. You know, I give them a lot of credit being 18, 19 years old, coming to a new country, not speaking the language, and performing at a high level in a sport that a lot of people can’t perform that well in.”
Gabriel Garcia, who was born in Puerto Rico, spent the past season chasing his big league dreams with the Timber Rattlers, at the same time becoming part of the community on and off the field.
“I came here from Puerto Rico when I was 14. I went to high school in the States, in Florida. Love Wisconsin. In the beginning it was a little bit cold, but I just think the community has been really really great. I really appreciate them a lot, and it’s really fun to be here.”
While adjusting to live in northeast Wisconsin, Garcis still remembers his heritage and where he comes from.
“I think it’s great, a great opportunity for me to represent the Brewers and also represent Puerto Rico wherever I’m at.”
As the Timber Rattlers wrapped up the 2018 campaign, they took the time to celebrate the culture of their players with Hispanic heritage night at the Fox Cities Stadium.