How Diaz is promoting 'progress of baseball' in home country

January 23rd, 2024

This story was excerpted from Martín Gallegos’ A’s Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

A’s infielder is the first baseball player from Montería, Colombia, to reach the Major Leagues, and he’s doing everything he can to ensure he will not be the last.

Through his Fundacíon Jordan Diaz (Jordan Diaz Foundation) during the week before Christmas last month, Diaz put together his first 16U baseball tournament. The four-day event took place at Estadio Softball Jorge Amín Manzur in Montería and featured eight teams assembled from eight Colombian towns: Valencia, Tierralta, Canalete, Montería, Lorica, Momil, San Antero and Moñitos.

To ensure that the participants could focus solely on baseball during the tournament, Diaz’s foundation provided all uniforms, transportation and accommodations.

“I think us Colombians in MLB have done a good job,” Diaz said. “We have a lot of Colombians in the big leagues now. I think in a very few years, when you talk about Colombia, you won’t just talk about soccer, but baseball as well. The young kids have a strong desire to play baseball. They’re always learning.”

Diaz grew up idolizing legendary Colombian baseball players Edgar Renteria and Orlando Cabrera in a country where soccer is king. Now an admired national figure himself who represented Team Colombia in last year’s World Baseball Classic, Diaz hopes to expand the tournament by including more cities to provide even more kids with the opportunity to pursue their big league dreams.

“Soon,” Diaz said, “you will really start to see the progress of baseball in Colombia.”