Utley Who?????

8 Apr

Yes, the 4 Aces already have 3 wins and Ryan Howard and Placido Polanc0 are off to blistering starts.

Yes, the offense has been more potent than expected and the bullpen, even without Brad Lidge now out until the All-Star Break, has done a solid job.

But today’s post will not be about the most-talked about members of this high-profile team.

Today’s post is about a Phillie who in 6 games is batting a whopping .429.  He has 9 hits, 4 runs scored, 3 doubles, and 5 RBI’s.

No, not the Big Bopper, or Rauuuul, not J-Roll or Chooch.  In fact, this guy doesn’t even have a nickname, or a bobblehead.  But he might if he keeps this up.

Today’s post celebrates the small fill-in second baseman with large shoes to fill; the soft-spoken guy who always seems to have a smile on his face.

Wilson Antonio Valdez

After his career high 4-hit game yesterday that included 3 runs scored and 3 more driven in, I thought it was time we learned a little more about this new Phillies hero.

But it wasn’t easy.

Try googling Valdez and see what you get.  Mostly stories about the Exxon Valdez. Then of course there’s Valdez, Alaska.  Did you know that they get 360 (30 feet!) inches of snow there a year?  That’s the most of any community at sea level in North America.  But I digress.

There was even more written about Carlos Valdes recently signed by the Philadelphia Union.  You know that professional soccer team?  I’m sure you’ve heard of them.

But I was able to learn a little.

He was born on May 20th, 1978 in Nizao, Peravia, Dominican Republic and was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Montreal Expos in 1997.  Remember them?  When we played there we always got to hear ‘O Canada.’  (I love that song.)  He played in the Expos Minor League system at various levels until 2001.

After being placed on waivers, the Marlins claimed him and he played in the minors for them until 2003.  After that his life was like an episode of the Amazing Race on steroids (forgive the expression) as he went from the Chicago White Sox, where he had his first ‘cup of coffee’ in the majors, to the Seattle Mariners, to the San Diego Padres, to the Kansas City Royals, and the LA Dodgers. In 2008, his contract was sold to the Kia Tigers of the Korean Baseball Organization and then later that year he signed with the Tokyo Swallows of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball League.  Still with me?

(I bet you’re ready to hear more about Valdez, Alaska right about now.)

Anyway, then back to the states with the Indians, Mets and on November of 2009 he signed a minor-league contract with the Phillies.  Talk about a lot of frequent flyer miles!

After all that, to now be playing every day in the majors for a winning team, no wonder he’s always smiling.

That’s another one of those ‘things I love about baseball.’  That someone like Wilson Valdez, after years of anonymity, can become a hometown hero.

All I can say is:

“Wilson Valdez, tu eres el hombre!”


By the way, a special shout out to readers Renee for my headline and Linda for my Spanish?

(And yes, I know there’s supposed to be an accent mark on the u in tu.)

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3 Responses to “Utley Who?????”

  1. geetie April 8, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    Estupendo ! bueno trabajo !
    Maybe your followers could come up with a nickname for
    Wilson Antonio Valdez

  2. Lea Dickler April 8, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

    AWWWW, I LIKE UTLEY!!! YAAAA FOR VALDEZ!!!!

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