Yan Gomes Travels to Brazil
In an effort to grow the game of baseball internationally, Major League Baseball has made an effort to try to bring baseball to other countries around the world. In order to do this, they have developed the MLB Ambassador program. This program sends major league players around the globe during the offseason as ambassadors to help grow interest in the sport. Among the popular locations for these ambassador trips have been Europe, China, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.
This year the program is expanding to a new hotbed for potential MLB talent – Brazil. And the ambassador for MLB’s efforts to grow the game in Brazil? It’s none other than the Indians Yan Gomes.
As the first Brazilian born Major League player, Gomes has a tremendous opportunity in front of him. Much like Shin-Soo Choo before him with Korea, Gomes has the chance to establish himself as a star in his homeland. In doing so, Gomes can help turn on a whole new generation to the game of baseball who may have otherwise preoccupied themselves with Soccer, the traditional past-time in the country of Brazil.
Gomes recently made the trek to his homeland and visited the Confederation of Brazilian Baseball and Softball training complex to speak with young Brazilain players about baseball and his experience playing in America.
In the video below, Gomes talks about how the game has grown over the years and the progress that has been made since he was in little league. According to Gomes, the differences between how things are now and how they used to be is like night and day. This points to the positive steps being made in the country of Brazil to grow the game of baseball combined with the efforts of Major League Baseball.
Gomes was also honored for his accomplishments in a ceremony at the confederation. In an emotional scene, he was presented with an award and was surrounded by former teammates and coaches from his earliest days playing baseball in Brazil.
That wasn’t all though. As a national celebrity, Gomes made the rounds of all the big Brazilian sports networks during his trip. As you can see below, Gomes was in high demand but was able to find time to pass out plenty of Indians gear to local reporters and even one of Brazil’s top MMA fighters.
While Yan Gomes’ trip to Brazil was exciting for the reasons already mentioned, it was equally as exciting seeing a member of the Cleveland Indians have such a warm welcome some place other than Cleveland. We are so used to seeing members of the Yankees and Red Sox celebrated both in America and abroad that it is refreshing to see one of our own make a name for himself. Much like we saw during Shin-Soo Choo’s time with the Indians, an entire country now has a reason to get behind the Indians.