If you thought the craziness and zaniness of 2016 was limited to politics, celebrities and current events – think again. The world of sports saw its own share of highlights, lowlights and just plain once in a lifetime moments. And Latino athletes were an integral part of it all. In 2016 they made history, became gamechangers, influencers and inspired legions of hardcore and common fans along the way.
The Lovable Losers Become Winners
Why not just start at the top of the “is this really happening moments”? The Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs in the World Series! If you ask us there are no losers here, although Chicago did emerge victorious ending a 100-year drought. The lovable losers became winners. With the help of Cuban flamethrower Aroldis Chapman and a team with some pretty sweet merengue moves.
Legends Say Farewell
We bid farewell to some baseball legends this year as well. Alex Rodriguez called it a career just four home-runs shy of 700. A bit of a forced retirement if you ask us or anyone not Yankees brass for that matter. But as they say, it ain’t show friends, but show business. Further up the I-84, David ‘Big Papi’ Ortiz also retired from the game, however, not before putting in a career season. Ortiz was able to leave on his on his own terms and on top of his game. No better way to go out.
Bautista Sucker Punch
Jose “Joey Bats” Bautista showed us that besides his sweet home run stroke, he’s got a heck of a chin. A feud simmering since Bautista’s bat flip in last year’s American League Division Series boiled over into a brawl in the final game of the season between the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers. Bautista and Texas second baseman Rougned Odor got into a fistfight behind the bag after a hard slide by the Toronto slugger at Odor’s legs. While Odor may have won the battle, he lost the war, as Toronto went on to eliminate Texas in the 2016 playoffs.
Finally, the baseball fraternity lost one of its own too soon, when Jose Fernandez tragically passed as a result of a boating accident. The Cuban hurler for the Miami Marlins was just 24 years old.