Oliver Pérez becomes Mexican player with longest MLB tenure

Oliver Pérez becomes Mexican player with longest MLB tenure
On Sunday, 26 July, the lefthander surpassed his childhood hero Fernando Valenzuela and Jorge De La Rosa.

Left-hander Oliver Pérez pitched in his 18th Major League Baseball (MLB) season to become the Mexican player with the longest tenure at that level.

Pérez, who will turn 39 on 8 August, took the mound on Sunday, 26 July, for the Cleveland Indians in the seventh to replace starter Carlos Carrasco. The Indians were leading 8-2 over the Kansas City Royals. Pérez pitched a perfect inning, striking out two.

"Sunday was kind of like a modified opening day because I had a lot messages, a lot of comments, everything went really well from everybody around the world," said Perez during a Zoom call with the press. "That's really special times, saying that. I’m just enjoying it."

Oliver Pérez surpassed his childhood idol Fernando Valenzuela and Jorge De La Rosa, the two Mexican left-handers who spent 17 years playing MLB baseball.

Pérez was born in Culiacan, Sinaloa. He made his MLB debut in 2002 for the San Diego Padres. He also played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Mets, Seattle Mariners, Arizona Diamondbacks, Houston Astros and Washington Nationals.

Oliver Pérez represented Mexico in the 2006, 2009 and 2013 World Baseball Classic.

Cover picture courtesy of MLB-Getty Images