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Tuesday, May 08, 2018

A Corn Island tale: The Royals’ Cheslor Cuthbert had to leave home and learn Spanish before he could make the major leagues

Long, excellent piece by Rustin Dodd in The Athletic.

Cuthbert isn’t the first major leaguer from the English-speaking Caribbean part of Nicaragua, but he’s the first one from Corn Island.

Luis put his son at shortstop because he “liked the spot,” he says. He would not let him pitch because he feared an arm injury. He steered Cheslor away from other sports, such as basketball, because he worried he’d injure his hands. And when his son fell in love with raising chickens on the land near their home, Luis issued an ultimatum: He had to choose between chickens and baseball.

“He loves fowl,” Luis said.

Cuthbert loved baseball more, though. So one season, a few years later, Luis took a group of kids from Corn Island to play in a tournament in Managua, population 1.4 million. Cuthbert hit four homers and was named the most valuable player of the event. The performance led to his inclusion on a Nicaraguan youth team headed to Guatemala for another tournament. By then, scouts began to take notice.

One recommended a move to Managua, where Cuthbert would receive more exposure and better education. Luis remembers considering the idea for a moment.

“Well, no,” he said. “Cheslor cannot speak Spanish. We don’t have family in Managua. So, I don’t care to make him go.”

Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: May 08, 2018 at 10:14 AM | 0 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cheslor cuthbert, nicaragua, royals

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