CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Almost every Hooks season, we see a new set of talent from all over the place. Even from overseas. I caught up with two players who are from the Dominican Republic who are here in Corpus Christi, for the American dream.
The team just anchored down in the Coastal Bend for the opening week of baseball season. "I haven't gone out," said Emmanuel Valdez, Hooks infielder from San Juan, Dominican Republic, "I'm always at the apartment. I haven't been out and about, just here and the apartment. But, if I have the opportunity to explore, I sure will".
The Astros organization picked up Valdez six years ago.
Yainer Diaz is also from the Dominican Republic. He's been in the states since 2018, but this is the first time he's been in Corpus, and it's been an adjustment, "First, adapting to the climate," said Diaz, "It's a little different here and it's an hour behind from where I was".
He knew leaving the Dominican Republic was something he had to do to go pro, but there are times where the distance between him and his home feels kind of heavy.
"I miss being with my family while I'm here. I also miss my mom's cooking," Diaz added.
But, he might not have to wait too long before seeing his family again, "I have hope that this year, they'll be able to come. My dad has a visa, but my mom doesn't. But, possibly, this year, they can get it. If they do, they're coming."
Diaz's family said coming here means getting a chance to live the American dream, so on the field, there's no room for anything other than success.
"If we have a problem, we solve it ourselves," said Valdez, "We always try to do our best moving forward."
Diaz said him and his team are here for one reason: "Play the game and respect the land we stand on. Also, win games because we're all playing to win."
Keep an eye on these two out on the field as the Hooks have officially kicked off their season and will have regular games until September.
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