My mom was wondering…Lex, when you going to gibe some lub to the pilipinas? Ok, maybe she didn’t say that. I’m pretty sure she has no idea I have a blog or what a blog is. However, for some reason when I saw my mom’s name on the call display after another missed call (I was at the gym I promise), I started thinking about filipinos in sports. Without searching on good ol’ Google I can only think of one obvious filipino professional athlete. You all know who he is, he can knock you out and he can sing some mad karaoke.
Not surprisingly, there aren’t very many of my filipino brothers who have rocked the pro ranks. It’s not for a lack of trying, it’s because we are tiny people. According to the always faithful internet, the average height of a male flip is 5’4″ and the average height for females is 4’11”. Those numbers don’t really scream out intimidating athletic force do they? Nonetheless, some have beaten the odds and here are some names you might recognize.
I was going to use myself, but they guy below is just a tad bit better than I ever was.
My mom was the first to tell me about this guy last year. I didn’t believe that this guy had flip in him, but as we all know, momma’s always right.
Ok, so the 2 time NL Cy Young winner, 4 time all-star and 2 time World Series champ isn’t full blown Pinoy, but 50% is more than enough to be considered part of the familia.
Obviously all that lumpia and pancit he ate growing up gave him the power to throw a baseball in the low-to-mid 90 MPH range.
Honorable Mention: Shane Victorino
Yeah, this is a bit of a stretch as Nate is only 1/8 Filipino (his great-great grandfather was filipino). You’d think there’d be a few flips that may have squeaked into the big time since I think every filipino male grew up playing basketball. Psst, hoy, open ako…I’m sure anyone who’s played playground bball has heard those words before. Heck, there’s even a professional league in the Philippines (naturally called the PBA) that draws some ex-NBA talent. See the video below to see an ex NBA-er losing his sh*t and getting a lifetime ban from the PBA.
The dude in the pic is one of the greatest players to ever play for the New England Patriots. He epitomized toughness and dedication to the game. He was so tough that he came back from a stroke in 2005 to play 3 more full seasons in the league. There are a few other filipinos who have played in the NFL, but only the deeply obsessed fan would recognize the other names. The sport of football is just not built for the tiny filipino frame.
I searched and searched to find a filipino or part filipino in professional hockey and I struggled to find anyone. I’m thinking there hasn’t been a filipino in the NHL or my mom would have already mentioned it to me. I did find this one kid named Josh Nicholls who is half flip and who was drafted by the Leafs. This kid hasn’t even stepped onto NHL ice and he’s already a big deal back in the homeland…he’s already met the friggin’ president (see photo below). Imagine if a flip actually makes it into a game…he might get a face on a peso or a national holiday named after him.
I hope I didn’t depress any young aspiring filipino athletes with this post. I hope instead that I’ve lit a fire in you to become the crown and jewel of a nation only known for one famous athlete. Seriously, if any filipino ever made the NBA and became a flip Steve Nash, the 100 million or so flips around the world would priggin plip the puck out. If I’ve missed any famous filipino athletes in pro sports let me know in the comments section below. Batista from the WWE doesn’t count.