Julio Urías is an example of how talent and perseverance can overcome the odds. In a country like Mexico where soccer is of central focus, perhaps with the exception of boxing, being a professional athlete in any other sport is challenging, either because of the lack of government support or due to the terrible infrastructure of public spaces and because of lack of media attention.
The native of Culiacán, Sinaloa, did not have it easy. He was born with a tumor in his left eye and comes from a very humble family. He underwent surgery on more than one occasion.
- Manu Ginobili, the last great NBA star from Argentina
- Yadier Molina, dean of the Puerto Rican catchers
- Fernando Valenzuela: 40 years later, Fernandomania is alive and well
With his family support, Julio Urías started playing baseball, and is now a key pitcher in the Los Angeles Dodgers rotation, fulfilling one of the dreams he had since childhood.
The first steps for the starting pitcher were taken when he was just five years old, largely due to Carlos Urías Julio’s father, who shared his love for baseball with his son. His excelling in baseball led to Julio playing for the Mexico National Youth Team where he stood out and caught the attention of scouts.
“It is because of him (my father) that I am here. Speaking of baseball, he helped me from the age of five until I was 16 when I arrived in the United States. He was always the one who was there every Sunday, ”recalls the 24-year-old.
As in life, the best usually comes in multiples of three and thanks to the unconditional support of Carlos, the talent that life had given Julio, and a third added element: Mike Brito, the legendary Cuban scout of the Los Angeles franchise who discovered Fernando Valenzuela, Urías has been propelled to the highest levels of the sport.
“When I put in Julio’s report, I included his eye problem, but that it could be improved with surgery. I let the coaches know about this situation, we brought him in, he had surgery and thank God he was fine and at 100% ”, said Brito after the Dodgers won the World Series in which Urías was an important piece to end the team’s 32-year championship drought.
Julio Urías was rejected because of his eye problem
The path for Julio Urías was difficult and daunting. He was ruled out by other teams due to his eye condition and a shoulder injury in 2017 that took him away from the sport for more than 15 months and put his continuing career in question.
But what would life be like without obstacles to overcome? Today, with the MLB Playoffs just around the corner, Julio Urías has had a dream season with 20 wins, one short of ‘Toro’ Valenzuela’s record 21 wins in the 1986 campaign, but enough to crown him the NL wins leader for this 2021 regular season.
His consistency on the mound has him as one of the best pitchers in the Major Leagues right now. A player worthy of being recognized during this month of Hispanic Heritage – Herencia