Living out a dream: More Than A Game brings baseball players to Phenix City
Ronaldo Romero has always dreamed of one thing, to play baseball in America...."I always wanted to be here on a scholarship and have this opportunity," Romero said. "It passed through my mind but I never thought it would happen."
But it did. All thanks to "More Than A Game". The non-profit group has brought Romero to Phenix City where the Crawdads are giving him the chance to play baseball.
"I thank God so much and I also say to God that I was looking for this and he gave me the opportunity and More Than A Game gave me the opportunity to bring me here and give everything I had," Romero said.
Romero is a pitcher for the Crawdads and is hoping to get a scholarship so he can attend college and play baseball. Just like his friend Abelardo Paz. He's a teen also from Colombia who is currently playing at a community college in California. He never wouldn't gotten this chance if it weren't for More Than A Game.
"In my country, the most important sport is soccer and almost nobody plays baseball there," Paz said. "Just to be here and play in the United States playing summer ball, it's amazing."
The two players have been adjusting to baseball life in the United States. They're slowly learning the culture, the language, and the sport.
"I think we provided them the opportunity to live out a dream," said Crawdads general manager, Josh McConnell. "A dream of playing collegiate baseball a dream of playing at the next level and providing the Phenix City Crawdads two phenomenal baseball players, but most importantly two phenomenal human beings."
Romero and Paz aren't the only ones who are living out a dream. Amaury Telemaco Junior is from the Dominican Republic. He's been brought to Phenix City to enroll at Glenwood high school where he'll be getting an education and playing baseball with the state championship Gators this spring.
"This is my first step to grow, to be tough mentally and be a best person," Telemaco said.
Telemaco has baseball in his blood. His father played in the major leagues from 1996-2005 and currently coaches baseball in the Dominican Republic. He's looking to continue the tradition his father set.
"He has been my role model and that's all I want to do," he said.
To play a sport they all love and they're doing it because of a non-profit group that truly brings out the meaning of it being more than a game.