28/09/2023 - 01/10/2023


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Burgos Family: Father and son experience Baseball Champions League Americas from different perspectives
03/10/2023 2 Minute Read

Burgos Family: Father and son experience Baseball Champions League Americas from different perspectives

WBSC Commissioner Enrique Senior was on duty at the tournament in Merida, Mexico. Yucatan Leones right-hander Enrique Junior took the mound as a reliever. They represent Panama's first father and son duo to play at the MLB level.

During the Baseball Champions League Americas, WBSC Technical Commissioner Enrique Burgos had to agree that he needed to add Senior to his name to be identified during the accreditation process. Enrique Burgos Junior, his son, participated as a pitcher of the hosts Yucatan Leones.

"Actually, this is the first time," Enrique Senior told the WBSC. "I was Panama's pitching coach at the World Baseball Classic Qualifier and he made the team as a pitcher."

At the time his son was born [23 November 1990], Enrique Senior had been a professional player for seven seasons.

"I was almost born in Panama," remembered Enrique Junior. "Then my parents decided to fly back to Panama."

"When my son was born, I was under contract in Taiwan [the first of three seasons with the UniPresident Lions of the Chinese Professional Baseball League, CPBL]. I had to report in January, so we took him to Taiwan. I believe he spent more of his childhood in Taiwan than in Panama. Then I had a daughter and this made it even harder. When the kids started school, they couldn't travel with me. I couldn't spend a lot of time with my daughter as I did with my son."

Enrique Senior started 22 games and led the Lions to the 1991 Taiwan Series title. He signed with the Kansas City Royals before the 1993 season. On 15 July, he made his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut. He would play at the MLB level again in 1995 with the San Francisco Giants before returning to the CPBL and playing two seasons for the Brother Elephant.

Enrique Junior made his professional debut in 2008 with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He would make his MLB debut on 29 April 2015 and appear in 43 games as a reliever the following year.

The Burgos represent the first father-son combination from Panama to play at the MLB level.

"I have a grandson and right now it looks like he is going to be a left-hander," said Enrique Senior. "Who knows, maybe we will have a third generation of Burgoses playing baseball professionally."

Your son is a right-handed pitcher: "I have no idea why he is throwing right-handed. As a child, he did everything with his left hand. So I bought him a left-hander glove. What he did was catch the ball, throw away the glove and return it with his right hand. So I told him OK, I won't dare challenge your mindset."

"I am left handed for everything but baseball. I write and kick left-handed, but I throw right-handed," added Enrique Junior.

You started playing at a relatively late age: "I was 12, maybe 11. I used to play all the sports, then my father told me that I needed to focus on baseball. I shouldn't risk an injury playing basketball or soccer."

"He even tried hockey," said Enrique Senior. "We were living in Omaha, Nebraska, at the time. When we moved back to Panama, I told him that he had better get back to Nebraska, if he wanted to play hockey."

Enrique Junior didn't grow up willing to be a pitcher. "I wanted to hit. Everybody loves to hit home runs. My dad made me notice I couldn't run."

"He could hit the ball hard as a kid, but would need four hits to score one run," commented Enrique Senior. "So I told him that he needed to pitch, if he wanted to have success in baseball,"

"I always wanted to be better than him," added Enrique Junior. "My father is my mentor. He followed my career step by step. I still reach out to him for advice if I need to."

Finally, the WBSC asked Enrique Junior about his impression of the inaugural Baseball Champions League Americas. "I like the BCL. It gives a lot of opportunities to players participating. I'm sure in the future, there will be more leagues participating."