Lucha Comics - Indios de Corazon

Undiscovered Stories Ep. 03: A Childhood Dream Fulfilled

Imagine being part of your team’s dream run

I grew up in a typical Mexican household that really only cared about two sports – Futbol (or soccer here in Canada) and Lucha Libre (pro wrestling). Sure, there was some F1, Boxing and American Football in there but usually that was about it. 

Fast forward to the early 90s, and like most other boys my age, we were crazy about baseball. My parents didn’t really get it, but didn’t really mind that I suddenly had a huge interest in it. I still remember a lot of the greats, and the Blue Jays winning back to back World Series. 

Fast forward 30 years later, and comic books have brought me back to baseball thanks to my friend and writer, Roberto Mercado. A fellow Lucha Libre fan and author of the Azteq series, he is a basebal fan who got to live out a childhood dream. After all, which little boy has never dreamed about being part of their favourite team’s dream run?

Roberto is a native of Puerto Rico, and if you are fortunate enough to have Puerto Ricans in your life, you know that they LOVE baseball – and I mean REALLY LOVE baseball. Puerto Rico is home to several successful MLB players including hall of famers Roberto Clemente, Orlando Cepeda, Roberto Alomar, Ivan Rodriguez and Edgar Martinez. Fast forward to today, and we have current stars such as Yadier Molina, Francisco Lindor and Carlos Correa. You probably know that MLB has always had a strong Puerto Rican influence, but what you may not know is that Puerto Rico actually has its own, very successful (and competitive) domestic league.

Liga de Béisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente (previously known as Liga de Béisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico) is the top flight of baseball in Puerto Rico, and really a proving ground for many MLB stars. Founded in 1938, the LBPRC consists of 6 teams, and one of its most beloved are the Indios de Mayagüez. The Indios have 19 league titles to their name, along with 2 Caribbean World Series. The team enjoyed extraordinary success after winning the 1978 edition of the Caribbean World Series, which brings us to the 1987-88 season and the dream season that Roberto enjoyed.

Indios de Corazon - thumbnail

Roberto got to live his childhood dream, basically as a child. He was lucky enough to become a batboy for the Indios, where he would get to know his idols and some future hall of famers. He held this position for years, all the while earning the trust and respect of his teammates, who would foster his lifelong love of béisbol.

Lucha Comics - Indios de Corazon - preview page 5 es

Roberto was faced with a tough personal choice: pass up the chance to go to University, or give up his life as a batboy for his favourite team. The real world won out, and so Roberto let his team know that after years, this would be his final season as a batboy. Little did he know that he would receive a fantastic send off.

Lucha Comics - Indios de Corazon - preview page 18 es

The season began strong, and Roberto was presented with a special prize in recognition of his service during the last regular season game – but the Indios had already clinched a play-off spot, and so the Indios would need his services a bit longer. Trying to balance his love of baseball with his personal life, the Indios kept winning, and narrowly avoided elimination in the final series, where they forced a game 7 and captured the league title.

Indios de Corazon - young Roberto Mercado

So, after 8 years, the dream would end here, right? This dream run would continue and the Indios went on another Caribbean World Series. Unfortunately, the dream would end here, where the Indios would narrowly lose out to Leones del Escogido of the Dominican Republic.

Even if you’re not a baseball fan, what kid didn’t want to be part of their favourite team’s success? I know that being a batboy for the Indios will always be a cherished memory for my friend, and I was honoured when he chose us to help him tell this story for the first time in a comic book format.

Be sure to join us next week as we highlight a very unique story – a Brazilian WWII combat veteran.

p.s. Are you into manga? Do you love murder mysteries? Be sure to check out Episode 3 of the Bitemark Files here.