Another Royals comeback, and now we have a storyline on deck that could be written and talked about for as long as we play the game of baseball.
Just 5 days after learning his father passed away in the Dominican Republic, on the same day he made a World Series Game 1 start, Edinson Volquez will climb back on the hill to honor his dad, by possibly clinching a World Series title for Kansas City.
“For me I wish he could be here right now and enjoy every game that I pitch,” Volquez said after the Game 4 win. “And tomorrow I’m going to be thinking of my mom, and the rest of my family is going to be so happy to see me pitch.”
Volquez arrived to Citi Field later than expected Saturday, as he returned back to the United States. He has been with his family back in the Dominican, remembering how much his dad impacted who he is today.
“He was everything for me. He was one of the greatest men. I remember he bought me my first glove and my first spikes, brought me to the field. He knew that’s what I want to be, I want to be a baseball player.”
Now he has a chance to be a baseball player in the biggest moment possible for the position he plays. A chance to start the game that could bring your team a World Series. The same team that has been there for him through everything over the last five days.
“I never thought I would get so much love from a lot of people, even outside of the clubhouse and out of baseball. And I was like, Wow, I’ve got a lot of people that really care about what happened to me. And it’s a great feeling.”
Nothing would feel better for his team than to help him honor his dad on baseball’s grandest stage.
“It’s going to mean a lot to us,” explained Jarrod Dyson in the locker room Saturday night. “Volquez, we aren’t worried about. He’s been lights out for us all year and put us in the Post Season. I think tomorrow he is going to really come out and dedicate that game to his father.”
Volquez doesn’t have to do any of this. He doesn’t have to pitch. He certainly doesn’t have to take the time after Game 4 to get up and talk with a bunch of complete strangers about his own personal tragedy. Many in his situation would want to run as far away from the spotlight as humanly possible to grieve, and that’s perfectly acceptable.
But he is doing it. And now baseball can become a part of the healing.
“I think they’re going to be very exciting. I just want to thank God for my opportunity tomorrow to be on the mound and show the world what I have to compete with other team and give our team a chance our team to win. I’m pretty sure my dad is going to be proud of me when I pitch tomorrow on the mound. We’ll see.”
We will see. Volquez has the first shot at a clinch Sunday night, and what a story it would be.