Mariners Insider Blog

A September Opportunity Gets Shared Internationally

Luis Valbuena figured he'd get the chance to pinch-run this month when the Seattle Mariners called him up from Class AAA Tacoma.

He called his parents and family at home in Venezuela and told them this was a cup of coffee appearance and not to expect much.

"They went crazy happy," Valbuena said.

Last week in Texas, he started at second base - and made sure his family knew about it before hand.

"They wanted to see me play," he said.

And tonight, in the small city of Zulia, they'll gather again in the Valbuena house, because their 22-year-old pride and joy is starting at second base again.

No, they don't have cable television, nor can they afford a satellite dish.

"They watch it on computer," Valbuena said. "My parents, aunts and uncles - about 15 people, all sitting by the computer screaming for me."

That is what September can mean in baseball, no matter what the win-loss record.

In the small town of Zulia, there is a new hero. And in Seattle, a youngster trying to prove himself.