Any advice to parents whose children practice sports?
“Be patient with your kids, never take their dreams or goals away from them; help them, instead. In the long term, they will make it their own decisions. You have to be careful and patient, never leave them alone, and be mindful who is beside them. Don’t let anyone take your place in their lives… as a parent; you have the responsibility to your kids. We have to be responsible. Respect and honesty is the key”, María A. Velázquez, mother of Roberto Alomar in an interview that she had with historian
Jossie Alvarado for his book Roberto Alomar, A special player.
Many talk of the statistics that show the best second base player of the latest times in the Major Leagues, Roberto Alomar Velázquez. Others will pass their conversations to the controversy with umpire John Hirschbek when he was with the Baltimore Orioles. Without a doubt an experience that enriched his soul and human spirit into the professional growth the ‘Salinense*’ had. (*person born or from Salinas, Puerto Rico)
They will also highlight the family that is the Alomar Velazquez family, with a baseball trio leaded by Santos the father, Sandy the oldest son and Benjamin Roberto. With honorific mention to the boss of the house María and the only girl among her brothers, Sandy.
To those of us who are looking for a book that inputs more than tasty statistics to exalt the figure of the 2011 Hall of Fame inductee in the journalistic notes, Roberto Alomar, a special player appeared. A document that in the latest times turns incalculable for its value in sports psychology and others areas of sports education. You will ask, why?
It is notable that in Puerto Rican baseball there have been talks of what was the legacy of our first exalted player to Cooperstown in posthumous homage to Roberto Clemente Walker. It is not for less, a life full of teachings for all the generations to come. I have lost count of the many books out there!
Nevertheless, in the Puerto Rican literature the contributions that distinguish for being unique and about legends that live amongst our humanity, are in short supply. What adds to it is that they’d be written by fervent locals and with a special pinch if the author comes from the same city of the figure they write about. The exposition of the details is different. The delivery in the writing is as if you were listening to your neighbor playing dominoes in the balcony of your house whilst recounting the moments we couldn’t see because we were little or young with other priorities in sports. That happened to me with Roberto Alomar, a special player.
Knowing about the project, I was proud. It is always a sense of pride to celebrate the achievements of my colleagues, in this case Jossie Alvarado, who is always available to teach about baseball. He is one of the most influential historians in the national media because of his broad knowledge.
The experience Jossie obtained with his editions of Puerto Rico in the Big Leagues without a doubt, took him to a maturity of exposition level that became transcendental to the sports career of one of his idols.
That passion and being father and grandfather to a numerous family, to my perception, made it so that he could highlight better the life of the best in the Alomar Velazquez diamond, with the depth of the family environment.
In this video, Jeff Idelson president of Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
The book opens a space to know and study the ideal conditions in which the star of the Toronto Blue Jays lived and developed. Stages in which many times families make certain mistakes with their kids and others to succeed as it was for Santos and María.
In every walk through the cities he played since he signed at 17 years old, the family context is present with ‘La Estocada’ about the context of time in which he made his path through the Major Leagues.
In every chapter, of the 10 present in the book, Jossie portrays an example of what many families can achieve with their boy or girl in any sports career. A father, who went to perform with a bat and a glove, leaving a family at the care of the mother. An older brother that began first, to become the hero of his younger brother. A sister, that behind the curtains took care of her mother, without forgetting her goals. A mother, who took the helm of a home supporting the baseball fever of her reason to be: her family.
The interviews in the Appendix appeal to the sentiments that may have or have the members of the family and relatives so every dream in common and individually becomes real. It’s a lesson that was lived and it’s transmitted by colorful pages, represented with much care and humility.
“I gave all the credit to María (Ñañi). She was always with them. The fact that she never left them alone and was responsible for their development is extremely important”, extract from Santos Alomar Conde recognizing the value of his wife.
Every line respectfully describes that relationship of father, mother, children, brothers, matrimony and fans.
One of the lines that impacted me more was one of his older sister, Sandy, by answering ‘How did you feel when the incident with umpire John Hirschbeck took place? What was your reaction?
“I see this as the incident that kept Robert from going into the Hall of Fame when he was supposed to be inducted in 2010. Why? Because then it would’ve put some moments into stone that should never be recorded in his path as a ball player. I thank Mr. Hirschbeck for that punishment that Robert took from sports journalists in 2010”.
Words that only emanate from an older sister that always wants to protect, that has the back of all and every member of the family and the one that takes the helm of the home when mom and dad are managing diverse things of the family. Those are the words that make you discover the essence of familiar fraternity.
Between brothers, the finality is love and care for each other, even with those “fights” that create the character growth to face life. As well they make family unity to prevail for years without territorial limits.
“During that season that we visited Toronto, we were able to spend a lot of time together, but nowadays we share the most during the holidays. Being with family is the best thing, we grew up in a close-knit home, and we’ve kept it that way, nothing like being with family. We spend hours talking about what we’re doing, what we’ve done, that’s priceless. This career requires a lot of sacrifice, but we feel fortunate with what God gave us, we are very thankful”, quote from Sandy Alomar Velazquez, Roberto’s brother.
It is such a magical reading that it takes you to the reunion with those words of social strength, which are emphasized from other sports. Some lines that empower the message of those who have in their hands the youth:
“If a young ball player asks you for advice, what would you say?”
“I would say that you must work for your dreams and believe in yourself. There will always be obstacles, as in everything in life. Always follow the instruction form your coaches and your parents, be disciplined and respect the game”. Roberto Alomar, a special player.
Acquire the book, more than as a statistics tool. Give it the opportunity to fill that vocational training space for our future generations of baseball players in a healthy family nucleus.
Access www.jossiealvarado.com to buy the book both in their Spanish and English versions.
Version in spanish Roberto Alomar, un pelotero especial .
Special mention Coral del Pilar Latorre Orsini for collaborate at translation.