Sunday, December 12, 2010


Kansas City Royals closer Joakim Soria continued his offseason visit to his homeland with a stop at the Alfredo Harp Helu Baseball Academy in San Bartolo Coyotepec, Oaxaca, where he toured the facilities built by and named after the owner of the Mexico City Diablos Rojos (pictured with Soria at the academy) and spoke to a number of prospects on site.

Soria, who was also given Mexico’s National Sports Award for 2010 last month following another address to prospects at the country’s other top baseball academy near Monterrey, once again told the young ballplayers in Oaxaca about the importance of hard work, quoting a priest who spoke in Mexico City’s Foro Sol dugout while Soria was pitching for the Diablos Rojos: “To be someone who triumphs in life you need three things: Heart, mind and the desire to do what you propose. If you apply these fundamentals in any activity, you will be ‘someone’ in life.”

The 26-year-old right-hander from Monclova surprised his audience when asked who has provided his greatest motivation. Rather than name another athlete, he chose an uncle who “despite suffering a disability at work for Altos Hornos de Mexico (a steel mining company), never gave up. He lost both arms, yet learned to write with his feet and today is a leading systems engineer.”