Torrealba learned work ethic from dad
Rockies catcher's father made him a better person and athlete
DENVER -- Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba never tried to follow in the footsteps of his father, Diego, when he was young. Even now, he defers to dad when it comes to cars.
"He was the mechanic, but I never tried that," Torrealba said. "Honestly, I call him for whatever is wrong with my car. It can be something simple like my battery is dead, and I'm like, 'Hey, Dad, what is wrong with my car?' I don't know anything about it."
Likewise, his dad wasn't into sports, having left school at a young age to begin working and helping his father take care of his family after his mother passed away. But Torrealba's hustle, leadership and enjoyment of his profession is a reflection of the work ethic he learned from his father. Those thoughts are on Torrealba's mind as he and Major League Baseball celebrate Father's Day this weekend.
"My mom, Laura, was always with me in baseball, while my dad always gave me the advice you need to hear from somebody, to keep going, keep working," said Torrealba, whose rare first name came when his father wanted to name him Victor and his mother wanted to go with Yorman. "Those things made me a better person, a better baseball player. He couldn't always be around my games, but he was there for me when I needed him."
Torrealba returned "home" to the Rockies this season -- he was an important figure from 2006-09, years that included a World Series appearance and another playoff trip. He felt even more at home during the early part of this season, when his father spent about two weeks with him.
Diego Torrealba spent time with his son in the clubhouse and the dugout during batting practice, and followed and supported him during the games. His dad didn't get to see one of his best moments -- he went to the airport on April 24, the day Torrealba singled in the winning run in the 12th inning of a 6-5 victory over the Braves at Coors Field. But the time he was around was enjoyable for Torrealba.
"I was proud to have him here watching me play, and watching how my career has gone," Torrealba said. "Every year so far -- my dad for the last five years, my mom for the last eight years -- I've been happy to have them here. My mom will be here again in July or August. My dad might come back also."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.