International baseball alums to take the field in MLB World Series

28/10/2022
The Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros feature Olympic medalists such as David Robertson (silver at Tokyo 2020 – pictured above) and Yuli Gurriel (gold at Athens 2004, silver at Bejing 2008) as well as Alec Bohm who played for the US at the WBSC Premier12 2019.
When the Houston Astros and the Philadelphia Phillies take the field on Friday, 28 October, for game 1 of the Major League Baseball (MLB) World Series, international baseball fans may recognize some of the players they cheered during WBSC tournaments.

Veteran right-hander David Robertson helped the US qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and earned two saves on their way to a silver medal. He was a star MLB reliever from 2008 to 2018. After signing a contract worth US$ 23 million for the Phillies, he missed part of the 2019 and the entire 2020 season due to surgery. His pitching at the Olympics earned him a new MLB career. He is now back with the Phillies.

Third baseman Alec Bohm was a Phillies’ top prospect when he represented the US at the WBSC Premier12 2019. He started all the games at third base committing only one error. His hitting was below his standard. He went 7-for-30 with a home run.

The Houston Astros count on a former Olympic gold medal winner. Veteran infielder Yuli Gurriel helped Cuba win the 2004 Games in Athens and was on the team that earned silver in 2008 in Beijing. Gurriel also helped Cuba finish second at the World Baseball Classic 2006 and win two Baseball World Cups (2003, 2005), three Intercontinental Cups (2002, 2006, 2010) and two Pan American Games (2003, 2007).

The Astros’ Cuban contingent includes outfielder Aledmys Diaz, who played at the Haarlem Week 2012, and designated hitter Yordan Alvarez, who represented his country at the WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup 2012.

Right-handed pitcher Luis Garcia is the Astro who most recently appeared in a WBSC tournament. He helped Venezuela earn a bronze medal at the U-23 Baseball World Cup 2018 with four pitching appearances, including the bronze medal game against Korea.

And it won’t be only international super stars featuring in the World Series. Astros outfielder Mauricio Dubon, who was born in Honduras, was spotted playing baseball when he was a 15-year-old by a Christian Mission group, who offered him the opportunity to attend high school in the US as a foreign exchange student. After graduation, the Boston Red Sox picked him in the 2013 Draft.