For all of its quirks, unwritten rules, and occasionally boring affairs, baseball still has a good grip on this country, and for that matter, this entire hemisphere. One of the countries that its hold is the greatest is in the Dominican Republic. And on Wednesday, two of its stars- one old and one young- made history on the same day. It’s poetically beautiful. Baseball is a game full of coincidence and symmetry, and Wednesday showed just that in a big way.
For starters, the 45 year old pitching sensation known as Bartolo Colon made history to become the winningest pitcher to hail from Latin America ever by picking up his 246th win of his career. Greats like Pedro Martinez (also Dominican) and Dennis Martinez (Nicaragua) were passed on the way to him taking the record. He did so without the most dominating performance, giving up four runs in seven innings, but he stole the show with another one of those Bartolo plays that will make everyone smile.
With his Texas Ranger leading 11-4, a score that would stand, in the seventh with two outs, Colon made a pitch to Dee Gordon. The leadoff man hammered the ball back to the veteran, but he somehow stayed on his feet to catch the comebacker and show incredible agility in doing so. Who would have thunk it looking at him!?
Elsewhere, the newest generation of Dominican stars was also making history, with 19 year old Washington Nationals sensation Juan Soto making history of his own. Having had some headlines due to Joe Simpson, a commentator for the Braves implying he wasn’t really 19 due to his size and strength, the youngster passed Mickey Mantle to put himself in fifth place for most home runs by a teenager. He now has 14 dingers, two behind the total Ken Griffey, Jr. had as a teen. You wouldn’t bet against him adding to those numbers, or even breaking the record. With him playing so well, and Bryce Harper rounding into form, the Nats could be set to make a big push toward a possible playoff spot.