On a heartwarming Tuesday night at LA's iconic Dodger Stadium, Brusdar Graterol's baseball journey took a poignant turn. Born in Calabozo, Venezuela—a town with a population shy of 100,000 and gripped by political unrest and acute poverty—Graterol's meteoric rise in Major League Baseball (MLB) stands as a testament to his tenacity and resilience.
This 25-year-old pitcher, who currently plays for the LA Dodgers, nurtured an undying dream: to let his mother witness him pitch in the big leagues. The moment culminated on that Tuesday night as Graterol's mother, Ysmalia, watched the Los Angeles Angels' thrilling comeback victory over the Detroit Tigers.
Ensconced in a suite, Ysmalia watched with pride as her son flawlessly delivered during the eighth inning.
Graterol's Heartfelt Pitch Tribute
In a deeply touching scene, post the 1-2-3 inning, Graterol, with palpable emotion, pointed up to the suite where his mother was seated.
It was her first time watching him pitch as a Major Leaguer. As MLBONFOX aptly captured it, "What a special moment." The bond between the pitcher and his mother was further cemented with a heartfelt message from Brusdar. "Thank you so much for never letting me fall," he said, echoing their shared sentiment of "As we said years ago, we will never surrender," as highlighted by the Dodgers' official handle.
A glance at Graterol's illustrious career reveals a consistent trajectory of determination and prowess. Signing with the Minnesota Twins as an international free agent in August 2014, he made a promising debut the following year with the Dominican Summer League Twins.
By September 2019, the Twins recognized his talent and elevated him to the major leagues. Graterol's tenure with the Dodgers has been commendable. In 2021, he pitched in 34 games, marking a 3-0 record with a 4.59 ERA. His performance remained steady throughout the 2021 season's playoffs.
The following year, he notched up 46 games, a 2-4 record, a 3.26 ERA, and four significant saves—the first being against the Braves in June. Recently, in January 2023, the Dodgers and Graterol cemented their partnership further, agreeing on a one-year contract worth $1.225 million, evading the potential quagmire of salary arbitration. Graterol's story, from the streets of Calabozo to the bright lights of the MLB, is nothing short of inspirational.