Glendale, AZ: In our Spanish culture if a person shares the same, that is a “Tocayo.” That was my introduction to Julio Urías. When I approached him, I told him we were “Tocayos” as my name is Julio as well. Urías being a proud Mexican from Culiacán understands our Latino culture well. He laughed, shook my hand and immediately was in the comfort zone that being a Tocayo usually enables.
I explained that I had come to interview him on being on the ballot for the 2021 season. A stellar season that he recorded 20 wins 3 losses with a 2.96 ERA, 195 KO’s and 38 walks.
As usual, I took the opportunity to explain the history of the LatinoMVP award and how the award went from a being a reaction to what many believed was an oversight of Ruben Sierra being overlooked in 1989 for the American League Most Valuable Player award to now being the longest and most prestigious award given to Latino baseball players.
When I informed Julio that he was on that list, he told me that he was unaware of the award until I had informed him. He stated, “This award makes us proud because we know how complicated it is for us Latinos, sometimes we have to do a little more than 100% to be recognized.” He continued, “I believe to have our own award is something that is beautiful. That makes us Latinos compete in a friendly way among each other. As Latinos we see each other, and we all have good relations to have that type of healthy competition is very good.”
We continued talking about the award and he emphasized, “This (award) helps us grow as there are so many good Latino players and this opens the doors to the children in our countries who dream of doing something positive. I believe that’s the most important thing to leave a mark so that the following generations can reach their goals. We will continue to do the work to lift the name of Mexico and Latin America as well.”
When we parted ways and I told him that if things work out in his favor, we will be seeing each other again in his home stadium during Hispanic Heritage month when the awards are presented, he smiled.
/ 3 hours ago
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