NEW YORK—There is someone new on the 2012 Yankees roster: a Filipino-American, Clay Rapada.
He is listed on the roster as 6 feet 5 inches, 200 pounds. Certainly not typical Pinoy size as he is almost half a foot taller than San Francisco Giants’ Tim Lincecum, who is half Filipino. He is also not a power pitcher as he relies more on off-speed pitches.
I have been following Rapada’s career since he played for the Detroit Tigers in 2009, and then the Baltimore Orioles two years later. He played with the Texas Rangers in 2010 during the playoffs when he was particularly ineffective. I felt pain watching him but was hoping that another team would give him another chance. The 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 on Allsportspeople.com says Rapada has loved 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 in 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 potential. He continued to play and demonstrated good skills even when he joined Virginia State University. Several times, his college team won some important games due to his performance and skills. Soon, he was a proud player of his team; everybody was expecting his selection by a major league team.”
It happened in 2002 when he was signed by the Chicago Cubs.
The lefty will be the last man from the bullpen as the mighty Yankees pursue another World Series ring. Could he be another New York Cinderella story like Jeremy Lin?