On the mound was Julio Urias. The entire Dodger team held their breath hoping the 24-year-old pitcher could deliver the hardest outs of the night. But Urias wasn't just representing the Dodgers. In a sense he was representing an entire nation, the nation he was born in and where he learned the game of baseball: Mexico.
With two outs, and the count at 0 and 2, Urias threw a 97-mph fastball that flew right past the batter. The pitcher from Culiacan, Mexico, just won the World Series for the Dodgers. Urias screamed in celebration as his teammates rushed the mound to celebrate their first title since 1988.
Back in 1988, another Mexican player pitched for the Boys in Blue -- Fernando Valenzuela, who Urias is far too often compared to. Valenzuela was an icon in Los Angeles, and his fandom was nicknamed "Fernandomania." He would turn many in the massive Mexican community in Los Angeles into diehard Dodger fans. Now, Urias is carrying the torch and continuing to represent Mexicanos in L.A.
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"I'm really happy. Ever since my debut, ever since the moment I signed, we all know which team is the most popular amongst Latino people, amongst Mexicans," Urias said through a translator. "And it's all because of what Fernando was able to do."
During the celebration, fresh off winning the World Series, Urias draped a Mexican flag on his back and around his shoulders. When asked what it meant to wear that flag, Urias said: "I'm so proud of my country! Viva Mexico! All the fans here supporting me means the world."
Before the World Series started, Urias had vowed to win a championship for fans in his home country.
He said, "I'm going to try to do it for the fans in L.A., for the fans in Mexico, and for all those fans that send me messages of encouragement."