I admit that sometimes I forget that there’s a life that exists around the players who play the sport I’m watching and screaming about. No, it doesn’t invalidate the things we say about the game as it exists between the lines, but I still like to be reminded of the players’ humanity. I can help us feel a little closer to our own.
To that end, the Sun-Times explored deeply Willson Contreras’s relationship to his home country, to his family still there, and to the social and political turbulence that has made Venezuela such a scary and troubled place. I strongly encourage you to read:
If you missed it from #CSTSportsSaturday, read our powerful cover story on Willson Contreras, who's never let the situation in Venezuela stray far from his heart. https://t.co/hMS1WSpUG5 pic.twitter.com/auBipgFneP
— Sun-Times Sports (@suntimes_sports) June 16, 2019
That Contreras, 27, is having the best year of his career against that home backdrop is remarkable, and hopefully also a periodic relief from a set of worries I know I cannot truly understand.
It also makes me sad, to a much lesser and less important extent, to think about the disruption that could be happening right now in the baseball lives of those in Venezuela. The sport is a popular diversion in the country and also a way for young people to dream about their future. But when your focus is on where your next meal is going to come from, it’s hard to give a rip about baseball. I guess I just hope for them that someday soon, they’ll have the ability to just think about baseball again.
For his part, Contreras partnered with Obvious Shirts to create the Freedom For Venezuela shirt you may have seen, with the profits being donated to support Venezuela: