Saturday, February 12, 2011

THOUSANDS FILL OBREGON PARK IN CS WIN CELEBRATION, BUT NO DIAZ

Players, staff and thousands of fans converged on Obregon’s Estadio Tomas Oroz Gaytan Thursday night in celebration of the Yaquis’ first-ever Caribbean Series championship. The Yaquis won four of six to top the four-team CS standings earlier this month in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.

Obregon fans waited for Yaquis players like Luis Ayala, Agustin Murillo and Iker Franco at the southern end of town as the parade through the streets began. The players were joined by members of the Yaquis coaching staff as well as mascot Chaco as the entourage snaked its way to the ballpark, where thousands of fans were already waiting. One player, Obregon native Karim Garcia (who joined the team from the Hermosillo roster for the CS), was given a standing ovation that brought tears to the Major League veteran’s eyes. Garcia will play this summer for Monterrey in the Mexican League after being an All-Star and fan favorite in South Korea.

Not all things in Obregon were celebratory, however. Manager Eddie Diaz, who is not signed for next winter, is being speculated upon as a potential manager for at least three teams in his native Dominican Republic and was vague when asked about his winter plans by a Dominican media source. Diaz, who will be an international scout for the Tampa Bay Rays this summer, did not attend the parade.

2 comments:

Kiyoshi Konishi said...

Surprised that Karim Garcia is returning to Mexico this summer. He was such a superstaer in Busan where the lotte Giants play. Sad to hear that his father, Pancho Garcia passed away this January. Didn't Don Pancho played for a number of teams in the Mexican League?

Baseball Mexico said...

Yes, Karim's dad Pancho played in the Mexican League in the 1960's, and is a folk hero of sorts after hitting a game-winning grand slam for the Tigres off Eddie Fisher in a 1963 exhibition against the Chicago White Sox in front of over 25,000 fans at Mexico City's Social Security Stadium.

I think Pancho's death and Karim's own marriage during the winter were big factors in his decision to play on this side of the Pacific in 2011. As you say, he was extremely popular in Korea.