Astros’ Jose Urquidy honors Mexican roots
Jose Urquidy pays tribute to hometown of Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico
HOUSTON – A year ago, Jose Urquidy proudly watched as his childhood teammate Julio Urias sealed a World Series title for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He loved seeing how his fellow Sinaloense draped a Mexican flag over his shoulders as he cradled the Commissioner’s Trophy.
Now the Astros’ Urquidy is the one representing Mexico, the state of Sinaloa and his hometown of Mazatlan on baseball’s biggest stage.
Urquidy paid tribute to his homeland Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park before throwing his first pitch in Game 2 of the World Series against the Atlanta Braves. He changed his walk-up song back to El Corrido de Mazatlan, the Banda del Recodo’s popular ballad that pays homage to the resort beach town along the Pacific ocean. He had been using La Casita as his intro for the last month of the season.
“That song has a lot of significance,” Urquidy said. “It means a lot to me. It means I’m a proud Mazatleca, and I’m always representing.”
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Urquidy entered Game 2 among a quartet of Mexican born pitchers to have won on baseball’s biggest stage.
Jose Urquidy is part of special quartet
Only four pitchers born in Mexico have won games in the Fall Classic. Only half of those pitchers – Fernando Valenzuela and Urquidy – have won them as starting pitchers.
Dodgers reliever Victor Gonzalez became the fourth native of Mexico to earn a winning decision in a World Series last year in Game 6. He won that game in relief. Urias, who became the first Mexico native to lead the majors in victories this season, closed out the 2020 Fall Classic to give the Dodgers their first title in 32 years.
The iconic Valenzuela capped his rookie season by becoming the first Mexican born starting pitcher to win a World Series game in 1981. The Dodgers’ legendary lefthander won the Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Award that season.
Three years later, the Detroit Tigers’ Aurelio Lopez won a World Series game in relief in 1984 against the Padres. No Mexican born pitcher won a World Series game again until Urquidy beat the Washington Nationals in Game 4 of the 2019 Fall Classic.
“We’ve got full confidence in Urquidy because this guy is a pretty cool customer as a pitcher,” said Astros manager Dusty Baker. “He’s not new. He’s been in this before.”
Proud to represent Mexico
Urquidy has been preparing for this moment since he was 12 in Mazatlan. He was actually a teammate of Urias’ on the Sinaloa state team when they were 12 years old. They proudly continue to represent Sinaloa and Mexico in general.
“It means a lot to represent Mexico,” Urquidy said. “I’m very proud to be from where I am, from Mexico, from Mazatlan, Sinaloa. I’m very happy to be from there and represent.”
Urquidy embodies the lyrics of El Corrido de Mazatlan.
As the song says:
“Now that destiny
“Brought me to this land
“Where the Pacific is something without equal
“It’s necessary for the Banda del Recodo
“To sing a corrido of Mazatlan.”
On Wednesday night, Urquidy brought his Corrido de Mazatlan and much more to the mound against the Atlanta Braves.
Featured photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.
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