SACRAMENTO — The San Francisco Giants made a flurry of deals during last week’s Major League Baseball trading deadline, one of which brought some depth to the team with a unique Sacramento connection.
Mauricio Dubon is happy to be back home.
“I played here in high school. So, it’s a lot more fun now though,” he told FOX40.
The 25-year-old has spent the last decade chasing his dream of playing in the big leagues.
Dubon was born and raised in Honduras, where baseball does not enjoy the popularity that it does in other Latin American countries and the scouts didn’t show players a lot of respect.
“For example, ‘What do you want a Dominican shortstop or a Honduran shortstop?’” Dubon said. “The odds are not good with you. They kind of kick you to the curb a little bit, so it was a little tough.”
At 15 Dubon asked a group of American baseball missionaries who were visiting Honduras if he could go back to the U.S. with them. It worked and Dubon left for Sacramento and enrolled at Capital Christian High School.
“I was like, ‘This is my shot to go over there and get drafted, get signed, whatever,’” he said.
Dubon spent two years living locally with Andy and Sandy Ritchey.
“We’re a small part of his story,” Sandy said. “He’s a hard worker and he just deserves this so much.”
“It felt like home. I felt like one of their kids,” Dubon said. “Like I said, that’s my mom and my dad, so I always talk to them, I always get advice from them. It’s like having a second mom and second dad.”
In 2013, after graduating Dubon was drafted by the Boston Red Sox.
Five years later, he was traded to the Brewers. Then earlier this season in July, Dubon made his Major League debut for Milwaukee, becoming the first Honduras-native to play in the big leagues.
“To be able to be the first one, it’s a blessing. Hopefully, I’m not the last one too,” Dubon said. “It’s very proud. Honduras is the place that made me the person I am today.”
But the Ritcheys said to have Dubon back in Sacramento, at least for the next few weeks, is truly “a dream come true.”
“It’s so exciting. I mean, It’s like a Cinderella story right here in our backyard,” Sandy Ritchey said.