Cuban Star Player In His First US Post Season • Latino Sports


Cuban Star Player In His First US Post Season


Bronx, NY: Yuliesky Gourriel Castillo, or as he is now popularly known, Yuli Gourriel is the Houston Astros 33 year old rookie from Cuba. Yuri has been a good addition to the Astros in this 2017 season. Since being called up to the major league roster on August 21 he has made his mark. In his first 19 games with the Astros he hit .334 with three home runs and eight runs batted in, playing mostly first and third base defensively. He has battet .299 this season with 18 homerun’s and 75 RBI’s.

Yuli comes from a strong baseball pedigree in Cuba. His father, Lourdes Gourriel was a baseball icon in Cuba. He won the Cuban National Series Rookie of the Year Award during the 1976-77 playing for the Azucareros and became a very popular Cuban All Star player and manager. His three sons. Yulieski GourrielYunieski Gourriel, and Lourdes Gourriel, Jr. are all baseball players. Both Yulieski and Lourdes Jr. defected in 2016 and both are in the majors. Yuli’s younger brother, Lourdes Jr. was signed by the Toronto Blue Jays.

The following was a conversation that I had with Yuli yesterday.

LS: Welcome to the Bronx. Yuri, coming from Cuba where baseball is like a religion and now here in the Bronx in your first post season championship series, tell me, how does you feel.

YG: I feel good, I’m very happy not just with the season in general, but now also being in the post season.

LS: I remember meeting your family in Cuba; you have a rich baseball family there. How do you think they are feeling seeing you via television in this post season?

YG: I know they are watching, though they are not here with me watching me play, I know that they are well aware of the games and supporting me from there. Our hearts might be real far, but they are supporting me as if they were here.

LS: Tell me about your younger brother who also came with you, Lourdes Jr. Do you think he’s watching to probably learn and get advice?

YG: Yes, he’s presently in Fort Lee, Arizona and every time he finishes his game he turns on to see our games. He calls me when his game is over and asks me many questions and hopefully next year he’ll be up here (major leagues).

LS: Is this like a dream for you to be here in the fabled Yankee stadium playing in the post season?

YG: Yes, it is always a privilege to play here. We all know about the history of this stadium throughout the years, so playing here is always a privilege, especially in the post season.

LS: What message do you have for your countryman in Cuba who are watching you?

YG: I salute all of them and thank and thank them for the support they have given me since my playing days in Cuba and to tell them that I will always play the best I can so that they can all feel good.










About Julio Pabón

Julio is President and Founder of Latino Sports LLC., the parent company of Julio is a product of the South Bronx where he still lives and runs his businesses. Julio has written and has been interviewed for numerous publication and networks on sports & political issues. He has been an activist promoting social justice and respect for all communities. He is a recognized motivational speaker, was an adjunct professor of American History and presently volunteer's as a lecturer in local South Bronx High Schools. His primary goal is to make a multi-facet sports portal that will engender social and economic empowerment to the Latino community.

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