BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. (WCCO) – On a hot summer night, Onas Farfan is at Cooper High School baseball practice. He loves this game so much that he had already played three games before he came to practice.
Onas grew up in Venezuela. He was a young energetic boy who loved baseball. His family made a decision that he would be better served living in the United States: the land of opportunity, and the land of baseball.
“I came here because my…Venezuela, they never gave me the opportunity because I was American, I was born here,” said Onas.
He lives with his aunt and grandfather, Ali, in Brooklyn Park. They are his temporary proud family.
“He’s a good kid. He’s great you know. I’m proud of him, though. He’s my grandson, I’m proud of him,” said Ali.
Onas has a Venezuelan role model in another left-handed pitcher named Johan Santana.
“Johan Santana for me is my role model; is my mirror. He’s from Venezuela too. He’s a left-hand. I learned a lot from him. And he pitched with Minnesota too. He won two Cy Young’s, you know…he’s my hero…I want to meet him some day,” said Onas.
He has only been back to Venezuela once in the past two and half years.
“Actually, I went there December. But before that, almost two years I didn’t see them. And when I went there this Christmas, it was tough because I got my little sister – she grew up without me. And, wow. It was a nice feeling to see them again,” he said.
But his journey to the United States and his chance to be a part of the land of the free has been a good one.
All of this was possible because his parents wanted a better life for their son.
“They gave me the opportunity to come here. I progressed a lot when I came here,” he said.
Onas has a couple junior college offers. He hopes he’s throwing hard enough by the end of summer that a pro team will give him a look.