When Carlos Carrasco left his family and his beloved home in Venezuela to come play baseball in America, the most difficult adjustment wasn't the extra running, competing and throwing, it was the language.
In a The Player's Tribune article published Tuesday, Carrasco said that in 2004 he arrived in Tampa with excitement and the feeling of uncertainty at the age of 15 . The additional stress of arriving in a country where the language barrier is immediately apparent in the small daily routines such as ordering food or calling a loved one was the main struggle for Carrasco.
During his first spring training, he ate Dominos pizza every single day, he said:
I didn’t know any English, so I couldn’t really to speak to anyone. I didn’t even talk to my mom until a week after I arrived because I didn’t know how to get a calling card — or how to ask anybody for help getting one. When I finally figured it out, I called her right away and told her everything — about all the new cars I had seen on the roads, about my teammates, about my pitching. I told her how much I missed home, but how happy I was to be in the States … to be playing baseball. To be living out my dream in America.
During my first spring training, I ate Domino’s pizza every day for dinner.
I’m not exaggerating. I had Domino’s every … single … day. It was the only thing I knew how to order.
So for 90 days, I ate pizza. I ordered it so much that the Domino’s near our facility ended up giving me one month of free pizza as a reward for being their best customer.