NEW YORK -- A grateful Edinson Volquez began a news conference by thanking everyone for their support following the passing of his father, Daniel Volquez, who died last Tuesday before Edinson started Game 1 of the World Series. He continued by affirming that he's ready to pitch Game 5 of the World Series, a win will give the Kansas City Royals its second World Championship.
“I just want to thank God for my opportunity tomorrow to be on the mound and show the world why I’m here, to compete with the other team and give a chance to our team to win. I’m pretty sure my dad is gonna be proud of me to pitch tomorrow,” Volquez said after the Royals won Game 4 on Saturday.
Volquez praised his father for helping make his baseball dreams come true, saying he made it all possible.
“He was everything for me, he was one of the greatest men ever," Volquez said.
"I remember when he bought me my first glove, my first spikes, drive me to the field, he knew I wanted to be a baseball player and he gave me a lot of support.”
The pitcher said he did not know about his father's death before he took the mound in Game 1, and said it likely allowed him to make the start, which would eventually end in a 14 inning win for Kansas City.
“I think that was the best way to tell me. If they had told me before the game started, my wife told me before that, I don’t know if I would be able to pitch. I think she decided to tell me later, and that was the right choice,” he said.
Volquez told the press he threw a game of catch on Friday when he was still home in the Dominican Republic, and again in the batting cages after he arrived to Citi Field on Saturday. He said he'd been in touch with manager Ned Yost and pitching coach Dave Eiland to assure them he's ready to go. He also said his teammates were eager to welcome him back, and have offered him a lot of support.
He said his mom also offered him encouragement before he left home.
“She told me before I got here tonight, ‘just go over there and enjoy the game like you always do. We are proud of you, and be proud, and make people more proud than they are.’”
“She told me he passed away, but he was really happy to see you pitch in the big leagues, your dream, he was really proud.”
Coverage of World Series Game 5 begins at 7 p.m. Sunday on FOX 4. Volquez will start opposite of Mets' right-hander Matt Harvey.