On September 30th, 1989, Jose Cano pitched his last game in a big league ballpark. The 27-year old from the small city of San Pedro de Marcoris in the Domincan Republic had spent his entire life trying to reach the Major Leagues, and now he had finally achieved his goal.
Throughout his six appearances that fateful season, Cano gathered a lifetime of memories that he would eventually bestow upon his young son, Robinson. Now, 22 years later, Robinson was offered a chance to repay his father on the grandest stage with one final memory that would top them all.
As the All-Star Yankee second basemen rallied past Boston's Adrian Gonzalez with a record-setting final round to claim the 2011 Home Run Derby title, there Jose was, pitching in a big league ballpark like it was 1989. As Robinson's final titanic blast sailed over the right-center field stands, the two met in the middle of the infield, embracing in a bear hug that meant more than anyone on that field could understand.
"The best thing is not my swing, it's the gentleman that was throwing B.P., my dad," Robinson said, as Jose stood by his side reveling in the post-event glory. "I want to tell him he's one of the best fathers, thank him for the support and making me who I am today."
Sports are inherently about incredible stories. That's what keeps us watching year after year, disappointment after disappointment. Who would have thought that here, at an exhibition event that doesn't really mean much in the grand scheme of things, we would have the pleasure of witnessing such a perfect example of the power that sports can provide.