April 30, 2011
LIKE STEVE CARLTON AND HIS RICE BUCKET:
Grinding corn was Frieri's first step toward Padres (Bill Center, April 29, 2011, San Diego Union Tribune)
Ernesto Frieri says much of the credit for his becoming a major league pitcher should go to his grandmother, Zoila Gutierrez.Posted by Orrin Judd at April 30, 2011 9:05 PM
Between the ages of 12 and 16, Frieri would arise each morning in the village of Sincerin, Bolivar, Colombia, and spend up to two hours turning the crank on the machine that ground the corn for Gutierrez’s tamale business.
“She made 200 to 300 tamales every morning,” recalled Frieri. “I ground all the corn. That’s a lot of corn. I would turn that crank so much I could feel my right shoulder getting stronger by the day.”
“Then I’d help her sell them, 10 cents each in U.S. money. I hated when she woke me up every morning. I hated grinding that corn. But now I thank her every day. I think turning the crank on that machine is why I am here.”