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Gio Urshela: “We can definitely get more Colombians into the Big Leagues.”

Tigers 3B Gio Urshela is one-of-seven Colombian-born MLB athletes to see the field in the 2024 regular season - Image Credit: MLB

BRONX, NY — Did you know that Detroit’s third baseman Gio Urshela, is just one-of-seven Colombian-born MLB athletes to see game-action (so far) in the 2024 regular season, according to Baseball Reference? 

Among the coveted MLB Colombian-born club, with the 32-year-old Urshela, hailing from Cartagena, Colombia, is Rays IF/OF Harold Ramírez (Cartagena), Twins DH Jair Camargo (Barranquilla), Mets LHP José Quintana (Arjona), Dodgers RHP Nabil Crismatt (Barranquilla), Cubs RHP Julio Teherán (Cartagena), and Angels RHP Guillo Zuñiga (Cartagena). 

“I feel very blessed, and very proud to be a part of that small core group of Colombians that play Major League Baseball,” said Urshela in an on-the-field interview prior to the Tigers-Yankees matinee on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. 

“I feel like we can definitely get more Colombians into the Big Leagues.”

Urshela, currently in his ninth season, made his MLB debut back in 2015 with Cleveland, and since — has been a member of five different organizations — the Toronto Blue Jays (2018), the NY Yankees from 2019-2021, the Minnesota Twins (2022), the Los Angeles Angels (2023), and the Tigers (2024). 

Over the course of his nine years in the Show, Urshela has witnessed and experienced the influx of Latino-talent across MLB first-hand, as the numbers continue to grow year-on-year. Here’s just one example: 233 of the 264 Internationally-Born MLB players listed on their respective franchise’s 2024 Opening Day team roster, are from the Caribbean, and Latin America. 

When asked about the Latino-surge in MLB, Urshela stated: “It’s motivation for a lot of the young kids. So to get more of them (young Latino athletes) into the Big Leagues — it gets us (current MLB Latino athletes) excited to see them play here.” 

On his time spent wearing the pinstripes in the Bronx and returning for the three-game weekend series: “It’s always good, I have always had good memories here. Good memories, and a good career here, I always feel happy to be back.” 

Gio Urshela records walk-off single for Yankees in 2019 regular season – Image Credit: Latino Sports

“They (the fans) are always here to support me,” Urshela added. “It was an exciting opportunity for me to play for the Yankees.” 

Robert Rizzo is a journalist and editor of Latino Sports – Email: RobertRiz994@gmail.com

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