Clay Rapada, Filipino Yankee

By Nestor Enriquez

There is someone new in the 2012 Yankees roster. A curve ball maybe, a Filipino American wearing the thin stripes #39 uniform: Clay Rapada.

He is listed in the roster as 6’5”, 200 pounds. Certainly not the Pinoy frame as he is almost half a foot taller than San Francisco Giants’ Tim Lincecum. He is not the typical power pitcher as he relies more on his off-speed pitches.

For few years now, I have been following Rapada’s career when he played for the Detroit Tigers in 2009, and then the Baltimore Orioles two years later. I saw his talent as at times he hit hard. He played with the Texas Ranger in 2010 during the playoff where he was particularly ineffective. I felt the pain watching him but was hoping that another team would give him another chance. The always-favorite NY Yankees gave this Pinoy from Virginia Beach another chance in the season.

According to his Facebook page, Clayton Anthony Rapada was born March 9, 1981 in Portsmouth, Virginia. Other accounts say his mother is an American and his father is from Zambales.

His bio in says Rapada has been very inspired by the game of baseball since he was a child.

“During his childhood, he played baseball at his home, and then he played it for the school team when he was in Deep Creek School Chesapeake, Virginia. For his school baseball team, Rapada was a child star and performed well for the team. His family and other people observed his talents and great potentials. He continued to play and demonstrated good skills even when he joined Virginia State University. Several times, his college team won some important matches due to his performances and demonstration of skills. Soon, he was a proud player of his team; everybody was expecting his selection in a major league team.”

It happened in 2002 when he was signed by the Chicago Cubs.

The lefty specialist will be the last man from the bullpen as it opens as the mighty Yankees search for more World Series rings. This might be another Cinderella story just like Jeremy Lin was the last man from the NY Knicks bench in the year 2012.

One Comment

  1. M. Matthews wrote:

    A delightful story about A Filipino-American baseball player with the Yankee.

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