SIGNED – Uribe Jr. after following in his father’s footsteps in MLB
Dominican Juan Uribe has nothing against the six other teams he played for during his 19-year major league career, a journey in which he hit 199 home runs and won two World Series rings.
But a former major leaguer wanted his son to make a deal with the White Sox and be a part of that organization. The dream came true Monday when the White Sox announced the name Juan Uribe Jr. ($200,000) as part of the group of seven prospects they signed after the opening of the international free agent signing period.
The rest of the group includes right-handed pitchers Luis Reyes ($700,000) and Denny Lima ($10,000), outfielders Abraham Núñez ($700,000) and Albert Alberto ($50,000) and infielders D’Angelo Tejada ($350,000), and Rafael Álvarez (US$350,000).
Uribe Sr. was the architect of one of the most famous plays in White Sox history. The shortstop fielded Orlando Palmeiro’s grounder up middle field and threw the ball to first baseman Paul Konerko for the final out in a 1-0 Game 4 win over Houston, sealing the 2005 World Series sweep.
Now, Uribe Sr. is helping develop young talent at the Juan Uribe Academy in Nizao, a city southwest of San Domingo. His son played at the Uribe complex, as did Alberto, a 16-year-old right-handed outfielder and hitter.
“In my academy, we are like a family. All the boys here are like my children,” Uribe Sr. said Monday night. “I go there with them, we play, I eat the same food with them. We do the same, all together.”
“They go to school right there. Everything they need they do there. Alberto is one of them, he is like my son. That makes me very proud because we are like a family. I like working with them, being part of their routines”.
Uribe Jr., 16, was born in Chicago, forming his bond with the White Sox literally from day one and laying the groundwork for this connection, despite strong interest shown by other teams, according to the young second baseman.
“My dad was the one who made sure I went to the best place, the best organization. Things turned out well,” said Uribe Jr. “But it’s definitely something very exciting for me and my family. A very happy moment for all of us. I am happy and proud to be a part of the White Sox.”
“I wanted to do something like what Vladimir (Guerrero Jr.) did. He was born in Canada and now plays for the Blue Jays. He wanted to do something like that.”
Of course, there is only one Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and Uribe Jr. is just starting his career. He one day hopes he can help the White Sox in any way, like his father did.
“Being in Chicago and with the White Sox is like being part of a family,” said Uribe Sr. “You want your son to be in a good place, the right place. I’m proud of the player he is and the player he’s going to become and the way he’s going to represent the White Sox.”