The Puerto Rican orchestra, La Sonora Ponceña has a song that say’s: “Tu cumpleaño no es un dia cada año, tu cumpleaño es todos los días del amanecer.” (Your birthday is not one day of the year, your birthday is everyday you see the sun rise).
Yesterday, January 10th was another day of sunrise like today for one of our feature writers, Mr. Juan Vene. What makes this young man’s day yesterday and today as well as tomorrow so special and why we must do more than celebrate it is that yesterday our good friend Juan celebrated 93 years of life.
I personally consider Juan a giant among sports writers as he has been writing a daily baseball column longer than most writers today have living. He now has been writing a daily baseball column for 61 years, YES, I’ll spell it S I X T Y – O N E years and if that is not an achievement in any profession, I don’t know what is? I really believe that this must be some type of record, it might even be a World Guinness Book record.
We have been publishing his daily syndicated column now for several years. Juan’s first language is Spanish, so I have the task of helping to translate his piece into English so that many of our readers who are English dominant could also benefit from reading Juan’s articles. I have stated several times that I believe that Juan is a walking encyclopedia of baseball. Not only because of his years covering the sport, but from the incredible volume of research data that he constantly writes in his pieces. Vene seems to live, eat and breath baseball and it comes across in his daily articles. It is indeed a pleasure to translate and publish his articles because not one day goes by that in the process of translating I don’t learn something new about the sport of baseball.
Mr. Juan Vene was born in a poor barrio in Caracas, Venezuela on January 10, 1929. He played baseball as a child because that was the game all the kids played, but he did not know that baseball was the national sport. It was as if his contribution to the game of baseball was not as a player, but as a baseball columnist that has brought much delight to those that have had the opportunity to read his work.
Mr. Vene studied to be a newspaper reporter. However, he did not cover baseball until he convinced his editor of the newspaper, La Esfera in Caracas to allow him to cover the 1960 World Series. Juan explained that in 1959 the first Venezuelan, Luis Aparicio made it to the major leagues, and he used that as the excuse to convince his editor that more Venezuelans would probably follow, therefore, the newspaper should be one of the first to begin covering MLB baseball by allowing him to cover the 1960 World Series. His editor agreed and the rest is history. Mr. Vene has not stopped writing a daily column for over 61 years and only during a recent hospital stay for an operation was that streak interrupted until he was discharged from the hospital.
We in Latino Sports salute this giant among sports writers for his professionalism, his discipline and tenacity in accomplishing this incredible task. Now today at his young age of 93 he is a testament to all future sports writers proving that nothing is impossible, and everything is possible if you have the discipline to stay focus on your desire.
What is Mr. Vene’ desire? He explained he loves to make people smile with what he writes. I must be honest and say that Juan Vene speaks and writes his mind and with that he makes some frown, but I can assure you that he does make many more people smile.
Te deseamos mucha salud y Felicidad Juan.
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