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Yankees Great Jorge Posada Traces His Roots

Este articulo es viejo pero bien interesante sobre el Puertoriqueño Jorge Posada y su herencia Cubana y Dominicana - Esta en Ingles.

Pagina de Jorge Posada - www.jorgeposada.com

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Renato Morrfi, of Radio La Mega-Amor, prefaced his question by saying that many listeners (including Cubans) often expressed the curiosity of Jorge Posada’s “ethnic” background, given that he was born in Puerto Rico of a Cuban father, and wanted to know if Jorge also considered himself part Cuban.

The New York Yankees Catcher met with the Latino Press at Yankee Stadium July 28th to discuss, among other things, his national and ethnic identity.

“Vamos estar claro,” (Let’s be clear) Jorge responded. “Yes, I feel Cuban and yes I feel Dominican. I grew up in a Cuban community in Puerto Rico and during the summer days I would play with children born in Puerto Rico of Cuban parents. I would love to go to Cuba. I have never been there. I always went to Dominicana (Dominican Republic). I have family in Santo Domingo where I spent my summers as a child. Now in the off-season I visit there in the winter. On my mother’s side my relatives live in Dominicana; on my father’s side, thank God, with the Cuban Exile, they all have lived in Puerto Rico.”

After Morrfi made a comparison of Jorge with a famous Puerto Rican singer, Tito Rodríguez, whose father was Cuban and mother Dominican, Julio Pabón, CEO of Latino Sports and conference moderator, interjected with a historical footnote to the discussion. He pointed out that “in the late 1800s there had been a movement led by Martí, Betances and a number of great Dominican leaders to create a single nation called the Antillean Confederation made up of Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic -- that would have made a single country. Because of the United States invasion in 1898 [of Puerto Rico] and the war against Spain, those plans were dissolved.”

Posada embodies that would-have-been nation “because he is from all three and that’s the way it usually was,” Pabón pointed out. “Our grandmothers where Cuban, a great-grandfather was Puerto Rican; our other grandfather, or grandmother was Dominican…Today it is either of those nationalities separately except here in LatinoSports,” he concluded.
Pabón took the opportunity to address Jorge Posada’s desire to visit Cuba some day if he would consider playing in the next World Baseball Classic (WBC) where one of the play-off games would most likely take place.

When asked what country he would play for in the next World Baseball Classic, if given the chance, Posada replied, “I think Puerto Rico,” which was also the country he rooted for in the first WBC.

“Posada wanted to wear another uniform next month in the World Baseball Classic…he would have loved to represent Puerto Rico,” according to Tyler Kepner in a New York Times February 15, 2006 article.

So why didn’t Posada play in the historical baseball Classic? Yankee brass wanted to keep him “fresh” and refused to let him play.


Jorge Posada, the 4-time All-Star and Silver Slugger (2000-03), at the plate, September 13, 2005. Photo: Terry Foote

By the third year after playing third base with the Yankess, it was determined to convert him into a catcher. Posada said that after initially becoming a catcher it took him three years to finally feel he had made the full transition. The switch-hitting catcher has made the All-Stars and won the Silver Slugger Award four years in a row.

Posada was also asked on the batting woes of Alex Rodríguez, the Yankees Third Baseman and native of Manhattan’s Washington Heights. He explained that much had to do with the dynamics of playing baseball which include the schedule, slumps, getting out of slumps and the self-imposed pressure by Rodríguez, whom Posada referred to as a “perfectionist,” in response to the insensitive and negativity from New York fans and press alike.

He did not refer to national or cultural identity as a basis for what the reporter thought would be performance-enhancing factor for Rodríguez (his parents are from the Dominican Republic). As far as I know, that does not come in a pill.

Rodríguez played for Team USA in the inaugural WBC and was criticized by some members in the Dominican community for not playing for his parent’s country.

Posada endorsed whole heartily the retiring of Roberto Clemente’s number 21 from all of Major League Baseball. Roberto Clemente was one of Posada’s heroes and regrets not having had a conversation with him [Clemente passed away on December 31, 1972, about a year after Posada was born]. This effort, he said, would be great for the Latino Community and for the baseball players as well.

Commenting on the humanitarian deeds of Roberto Clemente, Posada acknowledged an active charitable atmosphere among baseball professionals today. “I would say that each baseball player, if he does not have a foundation already established, is contributing to an established foundation.” As an example, he pointed out to the Girls and Boys Clubs where every player donates money automatically from their paychecks. There is also BATs, Baseball Assistance Teams, which helps members of the baseball "family" who have come on hard times and are in need of assistance.

Posada has a foundation named after his son, the Jorge Posada Foundation. Jorge was diagnosed with craniosynostosis -- a congenital birth defect that results in an abnormally shaped skull. This foundation provides financial support to families whose children are affected by this condition. The foundation also encourages further research in this area.

In 2005 Posada was nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award in recognition of a baseball player who combines on-the-field excellence with work in the community.

Source Website: nylatinojournal.com