Strength Up the Middle (of the Country): the KC-VZ Connection

Three Venezuelans–Now That’s a “World” Series!

And…the Kansas City Royals have brought Mo’ zura back to the World Series. Remember the I-70 World Series? Whitey Herzog? Were you even born in 1985 when the Royals last won it all?

Doesn’t matter. An old baseball axiom is “strength up the middle.” And as VZ baseball pointed out a few months ago, here are the Royals catcher, second baseman and shortstop: Salvador Perez, pride of Valencia; Omar Infante, the Man from Puerto la Cruz; Alcides Escobar, La Sabana’s own. Venezuela, take a bow.

Just last week, I learned two startling things about Escobar:

1. He wears women’s perfume during games (and encouraged Perez to do the same). No word on what these boys wear after the game, but I bet they’re not playing old episodes of “Quien Es Mas Macho” in the locker room.

2. Many Venezuelan shortstops wear uniform #13 in honor of David Concepcion, the old Reds’ Gold Glover from Ocumare de la Costa. But Alcides, born in 1986, wears #2, in honor of….Derek Jeter. You see, you can never really have enough trivia about Jeets in his triumphal farewell campaign.

Royals’ manager Ned Yost gave great credit to Perez for handling the awesome Royals’ pitching staff. Eight wins in a row! Two runs in the final two games against the once-fearsome Orioles! I think Salvy gets to keep his 2013 Gold Glove.

And so it goes. It seems that every time I checked a KC box score this season, one of the Royals’ VZ trio had done something small but crucial: a stolen base by Escobar; a double played turned by Infante; a sac fly RBI by Perez. Sharp, fundamental baseball. And now, bit by bit, this team from the American heartland, with a third of its starting lineup from the Bolivarian Republic, is in the World Series.

Will the Panda meet them there?

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About vzbaseball

Writer, Musician, Baseball Fanatic. Lonely Planet, Fodor's, scouring the nation and globe for stories. Big fish, small pond.
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