No matter who wins the MLB World Series, The Yankees or the Phillies, a Panamanian player will receive a WS ring.
Carlos Ruiz, is the mainstay catcher of the Phils. He's from Boqueron, Chiriqui -- A 20 minute drive from where I live. Mariano Rivera, the star closer for the Yanks, is from a suburb of Panama City. Both players have been to the World Series before. WHAT ARE THE ODDS OF THIS HAPPENING? One would think enormous. Actually, it's not. Panama, total population of 3.3 million people, (1/3 the size of Chicago) has sent many players to the Major Leagues.
I learned to play baseball in the Canal Zone. We had a league that covered not only the CZ but also Panamanian cities. Our coaches were players from the Yankee farm system. We learned from professionals. Many of the Panamanian teams were coached by Cuban players (this was before Castro-Cuba). The Fastlich league fostered many players who went on to become Professional.
So, since the early 1950's, Panama has adopted baseball as their number 2 sport. Only soccer (Futbol), is more popular in Panama.
Now, with Ruiz and Mariano opposing one another, it fosters mixed emotions. We want for both of them to do well. In game #2, Mo was pitching to Choocho -- I didn't know what to do.
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