Skip to comments.Jose Abreu traveled a long way to join White Sox
Posted on 01/29/2014 9:54:52 AM PST by 1rudeboy
Cuban slugger leaves first deep impression with his maturity
Legend has it that White Sox slugger Jose Abreu once cracked a home run 490 feet in Cuba farther than any long ball in the major leagues last season.
Asked to verify the longest homer of his career Friday, the thoughtful 6-foot-3, 260-pound thumper smiled knowingly like someone prepared for the question. Looking relaxed at a downtown hotel in a gray V-neck sweater, Abreu made eye contact that suggested the sincere answer in his native tongue had nothing to do with baseball.
"I've actually had three big home runs in my life,'' Abreu said through Sox coach and interpreter Lino Diaz. "The first was my 3-year-old son (Dariel). The second was Peter, a handicapped child in Cuba that I got to know at my games. But the longest one was being able to come here, to America, to play baseball.''
On the October day the Sox introduced Abreu at U.S. Cellular Field, he shed happy tears. There have been sad ones too. The unorthodox No. 79 Abreu will wear was chosen by his mom because people would remember it. She remains in Cuba with the rest of a proud extended family he knows understands his leaving for a better life.
"I hope one day they'll have the opportunity to watch me, but right now they can't,'' Abreu said. "I thank God for the things that happened. The decision I made in coming to the United States, there were good things and bad things, like leaving part of my family. But overall, it's been incredible.''
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Bill Veek...rhymes with 'wreck'
Gotta love a guy who had an ashtray in his wooden leg, and installed a shower in the bleachers (that would leak onto the field). And who will ever forget Disco Demolition Night?
Bill Veek also brought the first black player into the American League, Larry Doby.
Bill Veeck: Baseball’s Greatest Maverick
And don’t forget Harry Chappas! LOL
On May 22, 1963, Mickey Mantle, batting from the left side, hit a home run he called "the hardest ball I ever hit" off of Kansas City A's pitcher Bill Fischer.
The ball hit the copper facing above the upper deck of the old Yankee Stadium, 102 feet above field level. It is estimated that, had the facing not stopped the ball's flight, it would have traveled 504 feet before hitting the ground.
Mantle stood 5'11" and his weight was around 200 lbs. He was a natural right hand hitter whose father insisted that he learn to hit lefty as well so he would be closer to first base and be able to beat out more singles.