Carlos Carrasco is a pitcher for the Cleveland Indians but he made his way to the United States and Major League Baseball thanks to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Carrasco grew up and learned to play the game of baseball in Barquisimeto, Venezuela. That's where his love story with the sport began. And his mother was a huge part of that, teaching him everything he knew about baseball at a young age.
He wrote a piece today for The Player's Tribune that talks about how baseball allowed him to dream of playing in the World Series like Pedro Martinez. But his dreams of playing baseball would turn into different dreams -- dreams of becoming an American citizen.
And that's what the heartfelt piece is about. You should really read the whole thing to get a feel for his journey. I don't want to downplay any of that. But it's an anecdote about his early days as a youngster in the Phillies organization that we found some humor in.
The language barrier was an incredible challenge for Carrasco, and seemingly dictated a lot of things in his life back then. Like what he could eat during his first spring training.
I’m not exaggerating. I had Domino’s every … single … day. It was the only thing I knew how to order.
So for 90 days, I ate pizza. I ordered it so much that the Domino’s near our facility ended up giving me one month of free pizza as a reward for being their best customer.
Aside from eating pizza and playing baseball, I didn’t do very much, though. For those first few years in the U.S., I didn’t really talk to many of my teammates. Not because I didn’t want to, but because I didn’t know how.
So much for the Phillies' non-existent sports science program.
Carrasco never ended up pitching in the bigs for the Phils because he was part of the big trade that landed Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco in Philadelphia.
But he has seen more than just his dream of playing in the MLB come true.