Burgos Family: Father and Son Embrace Unique Perspectives in Baseball Champions League Americas

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Burgos Family: Father and Son Embrace Unique Perspectives in Baseball Champions League Americas

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Enrique Senior, the Commissioner of WBSC, recently attended the tournament in Merida, Mexico, where his son, Enrique Junior, took to the mound as a reliever for the Yucatan Leones. Together, they make up Panama’s first-ever father-son team to play at the MLB level.

During the accreditation process for the Baseball Champions League Americas, WBSC Technical Commissioner Enrique Burgos found it necessary to add “Senior” to his name for identification. Meanwhile, his son, Enrique Burgos Junior, showcased his pitching skills for the Yucatan Leones.

“This is actually a first for us,” Enrique Senior shared with the WBSC. “I was the pitching coach for Panama during the World Baseball Classic Qualifier when he made the team as a pitcher.”

Enrique Junior’s birth on November 23, 1990, coincided with his father’s seventh professional season. “I almost came into the world in Panama,” reminisced Enrique Junior. “But then my parents decided to return to Taiwan.”

“When my son was born, I was under contract in Taiwan [the first of three seasons with the UniPresident Lions of the Chinese Professional Baseball League, CPBL]. I had to report in January, so we took him to Taiwan. I believe he spent more of his childhood in Taiwan than in Panama. Then I had a daughter, and this made it even harder. When the kids started school, they couldn’t travel with me. I couldn’t spend a lot of time with my daughter as I did with my son.”

Enrique Senior’s impressive career included leading the Lions to the 1991 Taiwan Series title with 22 starts. He later signed with the Kansas City Royals in 1993, making his MLB debut on July 15. He would play at the MLB level again in 1995 with the San Francisco Giants before returning to the CPBL and playing two seasons for the Brother Elephant.

Enrique Junior, on the other hand, debuted in 2008 with the Arizona Diamondbacks. His MLB debut followed on April 29, 2015, and he went on to make appearances in 43 games as a reliever the subsequent year.

Together, the Burgos family creates a significant milestone as the first father-son combination from Panama to play at the MLB level.

Enrique Senior expressed his excitement about the possibility of a third generation of Burgoses in professional baseball: “I have a grandson, and right now it looks like he is going to be a left-hander.”

Addressing his son’s pitching style, Enrique Senior humorously stated, “I have no idea why he is throwing right-handed. As a child, he did everything with his left hand. So I bought him a left-hander glove. What he did was catch the ball, throw away the glove and return it with his right hand. So I told him OK, I won’t dare challenge your mindset.”

Enrique Junior chimed in, “I am left-handed for everything but baseball. I write and kick left-handed, but I throw right-handed.”

Enrique Senior revealed that his son took up baseball relatively late, around the age of 12 or 11. “He used to play all sorts of sports, but I told him he needed to focus on baseball. I didn’t want him to risk an injury playing basketball or soccer.”

“He even tried hockey,” added Enrique Senior. “We were living in Omaha, Nebraska, at the time. When we moved back to Panama, I told him that he had better get back to Nebraska if he wanted to play hockey.”

Enrique Junior admitted that his initial passion was hitting. “I wanted to hit. Everybody loves to hit home runs. My dad made me notice I couldn’t run.”

“He could hit the ball hard as a kid, but would need four hits to score one run,” commented Enrique Senior. “So I told him that he needed to pitch if he wanted to have success in baseball.

Reflecting on their dynamic, Enrique Junior shared, “I always wanted to be better than him. My father is my mentor. He followed my career step by step. I still reach out to him for advice if I need to.

Credit By Photo: www.wbsc.org

In closing, the WBSC asked Enrique Junior about his impression of the inaugural Baseball Champions League Americas. He expressed his enthusiasm for the league, highlighting the opportunities it provides for participating players. He also anticipated the growth of such leagues in the future.

Reference

https://www.wbsc.org/en/news/burgos-family-father-and-son-experience-baseball-champions-league-americas-from-different-perspectives

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