Two years ago on Rays Index we realized that the Rays have their own David Eckstein, that is, a player that is able to overcome a deficiency, beat the odds and become a major league baseball player.
Rays Prospect Overcomes Handicap [Rays Index]
I didn’t catch this the first time around, so here’s my two cents now…first, a quibble — Perez’ parents immigrated here from Cuba, and I don’t know any Cubans who call themselves “African-American,” even if they share racial characteristics with African Americans.
Second, the comments on the original post wonder whether it’s the combination of his race and Ivy League pedigree that cause so much attention to be focused on his “braininess.” I think there may be some legitimacy to that…but I also recall following the Mets in the 1980s and growing tired of all the times “Ron Darling” and “Yale” were linked in the same sentence — and Darling hadn’t even graduated!
Finally, the Rays have several players from elite academic schools — Niemann is from Rice and Price from Vanderbilt. These schools of course do also have better known athletic programs, but I wonder why no one talks about them as though they are freaky braniacs.
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