Baseball: Big Show Starts
From 1955 onward, a new path was opened for Panama' sports with Webbo Clarke, Héctor López and Humberto Rodríguez, all from the province of Colón, a place where several top sportsmen have been born, not only in baseball, but also in a number of disciplines. This path has been taken by nearly half a hundred players who have given glory and renown to their homeland during more than half a century.
Some have had the chance to play at high and demanding baseball levels for various seasons; others have played for a rather short period, but at least they will be able to tell their children that they were once or twice part of the best professional baseball ever played on the planet and that if they made it one day was because they met talent scouts' requirements.
Trying to list each performance by all Panama 's Big-League players by name or year would be rather difficult. Therefore, mention will only be made of those whose growing merits allowed them to join teams in 2006.
Although only Mariano Rivera and Carlos Lee led the small presence of a few Big-League players in 2006, it should not minimize others' growing career. However, it is worth noting some of the most outstanding ones nowadays.
Mariano Rivera, the New York Yankees' star closer pitcher, together with Carlos Lee, Bruce Chen and Olmedo Sáenz, were in principle the only players from Panama who were actually took part of the 2006 games.
Chen was involved in a tremendous season in 2005. This is shown by the fact that he closed the season with a very positive 13-10 result and 3.38 of effectiveness. He is now focused on becoming a regular starting pitcher of Baltimore Orioles.
Mariano Rivera started the competition with 379 games saved, a number placing him fifth among all relief pitchers who have played with the Major Leagues.
However, Lee was not very lucky in 2005 after he joined the Milwaukee team in its first season. He has enough class to stabilize his results, which he will soon achieve, as many have predicted.