When Mauricio Dubon was eight years old, he was selected to play on Honduras' national team for a tournament in Venezuela. He later traveled to Colombia to play baseball, and then to the Bronx. After Dubon was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 2013, he made a startling discovery about those trips.
Dubon was going through an album at his grandmother's house and saw a legal document in his father's name regarding a loan he had taken out from his employer. Dubon asked his grandmother what it was all about and learned that his father, Danilo, had borrowed money so that Dubon could make those trips and pursue his baseball dreams. The family had grown up without much, and for three years after that first trip, Danilo had a portion of every paycheck withheld to pay back the loan.
"He cared about my future, he cared about my well-being," Dubon said. "He took three years of his paychecks for me to be successful in baseball."
Dubon's journey to Oracle Park has become well-known, and it's an incredible one. He moved to Sacramento as a teenager to live with a host family that had come to Honduras and seen his talent and drive to become a big leaguer. He has ended up playing alongside some of the very same players he cheered for when he was a high schooler. It has all been possible because of the sacrifices his parents made.
"I remember watching all the kids get Game Boy Advances and I asked my mom for one and she said we couldn't afford it," he said. "I wondered why, and now I realize that they sacrificed a lot."
Danilo has not seen his son play in person yet as a big leaguer, but Mauricio hopes to fly him out for a game in September. He said his father watches every game on TV and offers constant encouragement and advice. Asked what he has learned most from Danilo, Dubon said it is to be patient.
"Life is life, baseball is baseball," he said. "You're going to get screwed up, you're not (always) going to like things, but just be patient and keep your head high. Always look for something positive."