Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Born in Japan, Nori Aoki is an outfielder for the Kansas City Royals. The Royals are in the post-season for the first time since 1985. Aoki has been solid at or near the top of the Royals' batting order.
Saturday, October 18, 2014
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
Friday, October 17, 2014
Born in the Dominican Republic,Santiago Casilla is a right-handed relief pitcher with Major League Baseball's San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball. He pitched 2/3 inning of scoreless relief in the Giants' dramatic 6-3 victory last night over the St. Louis Cardinals. With the win, the Giants made it to the World Series to play the Kansas City Royals.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
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.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
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.
Monday, October 13, 2014
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.
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Born in Venezuela, Pablo Sandoval, nicknamed "Kung Fu Panda, is a professional baseball player with the San Francisco Giants. He is a two-time All-Star and has won two World Series championships with the Giants. Sandoval hit three home runs in Game 1 of the 2012 World Series, becoming just the fourth person to hit three home runs in a World Series game, and was named the World Series Most Valuable Player (MVP).
Saturday, October 11, 2014
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.
Thursday, October 9, 2014
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.
Saturday, September 6, 2014
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.
Saturday, August 9, 2014
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.
Sunday, August 3, 2014
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.
Saturday, August 2, 2014
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.
Friday, August 1, 2014
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.
Friday, July 25, 2014
Sanya Richards-Ross won the gold medal in the 400-meter event at the 2012 Olympics—the pinnacle of her career and a triumph after she had overcome serious health problems due to Behcet’s Disease, with which she was diagnosed in 2007. She is also the winner of three other Olympic gold medals for the 4×400-meter relay in 2012, 2008, and 2004. Recently she joined the fight against cancer in the Livestrong Foundation.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
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."
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.
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.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
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.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
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.
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
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
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
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
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
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.