TEMPE, Ariz. -- This past March, Osmer Morales, a Venezuelan-born professional pitcher, was given an opportunity of a lifetime. He came a step closer of fulfilling his dream of playing in Major League Baseball when he was invited to join the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during spring training.
Morales, who began to play baseball at the age of eight years old, knew that his goal was to reach a professional level of the sport one day. What he loved the most about being on the diamond is that it allowed him to establish new friendships while letting him hone his competitive edge. His passion for baseball ended up putting him on a journey from his hometown of Maracay, Venezuela to the United Sates.
“My passion is pitching, I love to see what my potential could be. I have in me something different. I bring to the field that eight-year-old who fell deeply for this sport,” said Morales.
Eduardo Paredes, another Venezuelan baseball player for the Angels, has been able to see up close Morales’s desire and determination.“When he plays, he plays with heart; this is what he always wanted. He plays for his country and this team,” said Paredes.
The pitcher’s tireless dedication has set him apart from his other teammates who are also looking are looking for a shot in MLB.
“My goal is to play in the Major Leagues. I am so blessed by God because my family is there to give me all the support I need in order to reach my goal. I simply give it my all every time I play, I belong here in the United States, this is home,” said Morales.
Morales debuted in the United States playing in the Seattle Mariners farm system for seven years before joining the Angels.
“What he does in the field everyday is incredible, you can the passion in his eyes,” said Jeferson Medina, a Mariners player who has helped Morales transition to life in this country. “He has sacrificed so much, leaving back his family in Venezuela. But he knows his family is more than proud of his accomplishments”.
In the end, family is what the pitcher is all about. He is currently pitching in Double-A Mobile of the Southern League.
“My family is so important to me. Their support keeps me alive. They love what I do, they enjoy the sport as well. They are so proud of me and that I am working hard to be where I am now at”, said Morales.
His time with Seattle provided him with the guidance and support that still has him pursuing his ultimate dream.
“I have received advice that has motivated me to keep me focus and determined on my goal. To never give up on my dream that with discipline and consistency I will reach were I want to be,” said Morales. “Working alongside all these professional athletes for both teams has been such a motivator, it makes me know I will be there one day,” said Morales about his experience of competing and working alongside other players.
Throughout the years Morales has trained mentally, emotionally, and physically to turn that young boy he once was into a professional athlete. He knows this journey is not easy although not impossible.
To all the young athletes who have a dream in making into a professional league, he has some words of advice to share. “By sharing my story I hope I can motivate anyone who loves the sport as much as I do. No matter your upbringing, your color, your race, and your ethnicity, you can conquer anything with just believing in you.”