Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Immigrant of the Day: Norichika Aoki | Outfielder, Kansas City Royals (Japan)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Wayne Gretzky From Canada | Hockey Player


Wayne Gretzky From Canada | Hockey Player

Hockey legend Wayne ("The Great") Gretzky, who was a star player from the age of ten, joined the National Hockey League and went on to become the game’s all-time greatest player: winning the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league’s Most Valuable Player nine times; leading the league in scoring for 10 seasons, and amassing more assists (1,963), more goals (894), and more points (2,857) than any other player in NHL history. After retiring, he became part owner and head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes. Gretzky was the final Olympic torchbearer at the 2010 Winter Olympics. S

Gretzky played for the Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues, and the New York Rangers during his NHL career.



October 18, 2014 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Immigrant of the Day: Santiago Casilla (Dominican Republic), San Francisco Giants

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Immigrant of the Day: Kelvin Herrera (Dominican Republic), Kansas City Royals


After decades of mediocrity, the Kansas City Royals are headed to their first World Series since 1985, finishing a four-game sweep in the AL Championship Series with a 2-1 victory Wednesday over the Baltimore Orioles.

Our Immigrant of the Day,Kelvin Herrera pitched 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief for the Royals.  Born in the Dominican Republic, Herrera was first called up to the majors in September 2011.   On August 30, 2012, Herrera got his first career save.

Herrera throws extremely hard; his fastball averages about 97 mph and tops out at 103. He pairs his fastball with a deceptive changeup.



October 16, 2014 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Immigrant of the Day: Wei-Yin Chen (Taiwan), Baltimore Orioles


Born in Taiwan, Wei-Yin Chen is a Taiwanese professional baseball pitcher with the Baltimore Orioles of Major League Baseball. Prior to joining the Orioles, Chen spent four years pitching in the Nippon Professional Baseball league in Japan.

Starting the third game last night, Chen pitched well but was the losing pitcher in the Baltimore Orioles 2-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals in the American League Championship Series.


October 15, 2014 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Immigrant of the Day: Oscar Taveras, St. Louis Cardinals (Dominican Republic)

Born in the Dominican Republic, Oscar Taveras is a professional baseball player with the St. Louis Cardinals. He spent time in Montreal, Canada during high school but returned to the Dominican Republic.  Taveres is the recipient of many awards and won batting titles in three minor leagues, including in the Midwest League with a .386 batting average in 2011.  Last night, Taveres hit a game-tying pinch hit home run in the Cardinals' win in the second game of the National League Championship Series against the San Francisco Giants.


October 13, 2014 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Immigrant of the Day: Pablo Sandoval (Venezuela)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Immigrant of the Day: Jhonny Peralta (Dominican Republic)



Born in Santiago, Dominican Republic, Jhonny Antonio Peralta is a professional baseball shortstop for Major League Baseball's St. Louis Cardinals. The Cleveland Indians signed him as a free agent in 1999. Peralta made his Major League debut for the Indians four years later and has also played for the Detroit Tigers. He is a two-time All-Star selection.

Peralta is the starting shortstop for the Cardinals in the National League Championship Series against the San Francisco Giants.



October 11, 2014 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Immigrant of the Day: Zygi Wilf From Germany | Owner of Minnesota Vikings


Zygi Wilf From Germany | Owner of Minnesota Vikings

The son of Holocaust survivors, Zygi Wilf is a real estate developer who achieved success in his business ventures with Garden Homes Development, a nationwide leader in retail, commercial, and private residential development. Wilf is the principal owner of the National Football League’s Minnesota Vikings. In 2013, he was given the Fritz Pollard Alliance’s Tank Younger Award for his commitment to hiring minorities within the Viking franchise.



October 9, 2014 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Immigrant of the Day: Shahid Khan (Pakistan), Owner of the NFL Jacksonville Jaguars




Shahid Khani(born July 18, 1950) is a billionaire businessman. He is the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League, the English Football League Championship team Fulham F.C., and automobile parts manufacturer Flex-N-Gate. As of September 2013, Khan's net worth is over $3.8 billion. He is ranked 122nd in the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans and is overall the 349th wealthiest person in the world.

Khan was featured on the front cover of Forbes Magazine in 2012, associating him as the face of the American Dream.


September 6, 2014 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Immigrant of the Day: Elena Pirozhkova From Russia | Olympic Wrestling Champion


Pirozkhova greets the First Lady in 2012

Elena Pirozhkova From Russia | Olympic Wrestling Champion

Born in Russia, in 1986, wrestler Elena Pirozhkova is the top-ranked American female grappler in the 63-kilogram weight class. She joined her first wrestling team in the seventh grade, wrestling primarily against boys. Since then, she has gone on to win, among her many prizes, the World Wrestling Championships silver medal, in 2010, the gold medal, in 2012, and the bronze medal, in 2013. She is also part of the women’s U.S. Olympic team and was the U.S. Olympic Team Trials champion, in 2012.




August 9, 2014 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Immigrant of the Day: Maurice Ashley From Jamaica | Chess Grandmaster


Maurice Ashley From Jamaica | Chess Grandmaster

Maurice Ashley was motivated to become the first black chess player to reach the level of International Grandmaster after watching Tiger Woods win the U.S. Masters in 1997. Already an International Master at the time, Ashley then spent two intensive years training and realized his dream in the 1999 Manhattan International. He is now an ESPN commentator, a three-time national championship coach, author, and motivational speaker who works to share his inspirational story and the character-building benefits of chess with underprivileged youth around the world. 



August 3, 2014 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Computer Glitch, Visa Delay Threatens Las Vegas Fight, Sen. Harry Reid to the Rescue

Earlier this week, ESPN reported that the Brandon Rios/Diego Chaves professional boxing match  in Las Vegas tonight was in jeopardy Diego Chaves, was stuck in Argentina, just one of the thousands of people around the world unable to secure a visa to enter the United States because of a computer crash at the State Department last week.

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said Wednesday that Chaves' visa had finally been taken care of and that he was expected in Las Vegas on Thursday.

Rios, a former lightweight titleholder, and Chaves, a former interim welterweight titlist, are scheduled to meet in the 10-round welterweight main event of an HBO-televised card on Saturday night at The Cosmopolitan.

Arum said Nevada Sen. Harry Reid was instrumental in assisting Chaves to obtain his visa.




August 2, 2014 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Immigrant of the Day: Paulina Porizkova From Czech Republic | Fashion Model


Paulina Porizkova From Czech Republic | Fashion Model

Paulina Porizkova became the first woman from Eastern Europe to appear on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. After appearing on covers of top magazines—and winning a contract of unprecedented value with Estée Lauder—American Photo named her “the model of the 1980s.” She has since branched out from modeling, appearing in several films, participating as a judge in America’s Next Top Model, and writing both a children’s book and a novel.

Porizkova holds dual U.S. and Swedish citizenship.  Born in Czechoslovakia, she was a toddler when her parents fled Czechoslovakia to Sweden to escape the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion. She was left in the care of her grandmother. Czechoslovakian authorities would not allow her parents to reclaim her, and the ensuing battle was widely publicized in the Swedish press, making Porizkova a cause célèbre. After a failed rescue attempt, in which her mother was detained by the national police, international political pressure caused the  government to allow the family to be reunited after seven years. Porizkova acquired Swedish citizenship.



August 1, 2014 in Current Affairs, Film & Television, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Immigrant of the Day: Sanya Richards-Ross (Jamaica)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Gov. Rick Perry Orders Dallas Cowboys to Mexican Border


Yesterday, Texas Governor Rick Perry announced that he was deploying the National Guard to the U.S./Mexico border.  Today, the Governor appraently has decided to pull out all the stops.

The New Yorker Reports (in jest?) that "In his boldest move yet to address the immigration crisis, on Thursday Texas Governor Rick Perry dispatched the Dallas Cowboys to the United States’ border with Mexico."  The article goes on to report that "there were questions about how effective the Cowboys would be in stopping illegal immigrants, since the team has the worst-ranked defense in the N.F.L." 

Rick perry

The Dallas Cowboys website has yet to confirm or fdeny the new assigmennt of America's Team.  Rumor has it that the Cowboys will open up the exhibition season in San Diego so as not to stray too far from the border region.

Hat tip to Cappy White.


July 24, 2014 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Yulia Zagoruychenko (Russia)

Yulia Zagoruychenko, a professional dancer, won her first major title at the age of 12 when she became Russian Junior National Champion. Since immigrating to the U.S., she has won numerous titles, including the World South American Showdance Championship and the US National Professional Latin Championship. Beginning each year since 2010, Zagoruychenko and her partner Riccardo Cocchi have won the championship for the U.S. in the World Professional–Professional Latin competition category of the World Dance Council.




July 24, 2014 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Immigrant of the Day: Mario Andretti (Italy)


Andretti in 1984

Mario Andretti is considered one of the greatest racecar drivers in the sport’s history. Born in 1940 in Montona, Italy, he was inspired as a child by the Italian Grand Prix and built his first racecar as a teenager in America. Over a five-decade career, Andretti won numerous races, including the Formula One World Championship, the Daytona 500, and the Indianapolis 500, excelling in virtually every type of car and track. He has published three autobiographies and is currently at work on a number of business ventures.


July 22, 2014 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Immigrant of the Day: Yoenis Céspedes (Cuba) wins back-to-back Home Run Derbys


Major League Baseball Oakland A's slugger Yoenis Céspedes won the 2014 Gillette Home Run Derby last night at Target Field in Minnesota. He had 30 home runs on the evening, defeating Cincinnati Reds third baseman Todd Frazier in the final round.

Born in Cuba, Céspedes also won the 2013 Home Run Derby last year in New York and becomes the first player to win back-to-back Home Run Derbys since Ken Griffey, Jr. in 1999.

The MLB All-Star game is tonight.




July 15, 2014 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

America's Pastime? Foreign Born Well-Represented on MLB All Star Rosters


I understand that voting continues on the last spots on the Major League Baseball All Star teams.  Still, the final results of the foreign-born compositions of the teams will change little. 

Foreign Born                                          22   (33%)

U.S. Born (including Puerto Rico)     44   (67%)


American League Starters                                        Country of Birth

C Matt Wieters, Orioles                                                United States

1B Miguel Cabrera, Tigers                                            Venezuela

2B Robinson Canó, Mariners                                       Dominican Republic

SS Derek Jeter, Yankees                                                United States

3B Josh Donaldson, Athletics                                       United States

DH Nelson Cruz, Orioles                                               Dominican Republic

OF José Bautista, Blue Jays                                          Dominican Republic

OF Mike Trout, Angels                                                   United States

OF Adam Jones, Orioles                                                United States


AL Reserves

C Salvador Pérez, Royals                                               Venezuela

C Derek Norris, Athletics                                              United States

C Kurt Suzuki, Twins                                                     United States

1B José Abreu, White Sox                                             Cuba

1B Víctor Martínez, Tigers                                            Venezuela

1B Edwin Encarnación, Blue Jays                               Dominican Republic

1B/OF Brandon Moss, Athletics                                  United States

2B José Altuve, Astros                                                   Venezuela

SS Alexei Ramírez, White Sox                                      Cuba

3B Adrián Beltré, Rangers                                             Dominican Republic

3B Kyle Seager, Mariners                                               United States

OF Yoenis Céspedes, Athletics                                      Cuba

OF Alex Gordon, Royals                                                 United States

OF Michael Brantley, Indians                                       United States


AL Pitchers

RHP Yu Darvish, Rangers                                              Japan

RHP Max Scherzer, Tigers                                             United States

RHP Félix Hernández, Mariners                                  Venezuela

RHP Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees                                  Japan

LHP Jon Lester, Red Sox                                               United States

LHP David Price, Rays                                                   United States

LHP Scott Kazmir, Athletics                                         United States

LHP Mark Buehrle, Blue Jays                                      United States

LHP Sean Doolittle, Athletics                                       United States

RHP Greg Holland, Royals                                            United States

LHP Glen Perkins, Twins                                               United States

RHP Dellin Betances, Yankees                                      United States


National League Starters

C Yadier Molina, Cardinals                                            Puerto Rico

1B Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks                         United States

2B Chase Utley, Phillies                                                 United States

SS Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies                                         United States

3B Aramis Ramírez, Brewers                                       Dominican Republic

OF Andrew McCutchen, Pirates                                  United States

OF Carlos Gómez, Brewers                                           Dominican Republic

OF Yasiel Puig, Dodgers                                                Cuba


NL Reserves

C Jonathan Lucroy,                                                        United States

C Devin Mesoraco, Reds                                               United States

1B Freddie Freeman, Braves                                        United States

2B Dee Gordon, Dodgers                                              United States

2B Daniel Murphy, Mets                                              United States

SS Starlin Castro, Cubs                                                 Dominican Republic

3B Todd Frazier, Reds                                                  United States

3B Matt Carpenter, Cardinals                                     United States

IF/OF Josh Harrison, Pirates                                     United States

OF Charlie Blackmon, Rockies                                   United States

OF Hunter Pence, Giants                                             United States

OF Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins -- starting DH        United States


NL Pitchers

RHP Johnny Cueto, Reds                                            Dominican Republic

LHP Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers                                 United States

RHP Zack Greinke, Dodgers                                       United States

LHP Madison Bumgarner, Giants                             United States

RHP Adam Wainwright, Cardinals                           United States

RHP Tyson Ross, Padres                                             United States

RHP Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals                     United States

RHP Julio Teherán, Braves                                         Colombia

RHP Craig Kimbrel, Braves                                        United States

LHP Aroldis Chapman, Reds                                     Cuba

RHP Francisco Rodríguez, Brewers                         Venezuela

LHP Tony Watson, Pirates                                          United States

RHP Pat Neshek, Cardinals                                        United States


Thanks to UC Davis undergraduate Arden Gabor for pulling this information together.


July 9, 2014 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)