Sports and corridos may not immediately appear to go hand in hand, but it makes sense when you think about it. Corridos celebrate the efforts and antics of any person the musician deems worthy of praise and many athletes are considered heroic by their fans, thanks to their ability to hit sweet dingers or ridiculous goals. So it should come as no surprise then to learn that sports-related corridos exist. We listened to a few (because, yeah, that’s our JOB) and picked our favorites.
1) EL CORRIDO DE YASIEL PUIG
Yasiel Puig is the Cuban exile sensation that literally saved the LA Dodgers from what could have been one of the team’s worst seasons. The Dodgers were hobbling along in last place in the National League’s West Division until early June when Puig, who defected from Cuba in 2012 and immediately signed a contract with the Dodgers, was called up from LA’s minor league team.
Within his first five games at bat, Puig hit four home runs, a grand slam, and nicked 10 RBIs. For his exploits on the field, he was awarded both the Rookie of the Month and the Player of the Month in June, the first time anyone had won both awards in their first month in the majors. His efforts helped the Dodgers out of their slump with a record-breaking winning streak over the summer and the team became the first to clinch a division title this year with their win over the Arizona Diamondbacks last week.
In other words, homeboy is badass and it was only a matter of time until someone wrote a corrido in his honor. That honor comes from El Gavachillo of Ozomatli who teamed up with Grupo Escolta, Voces Del Rancho, Hermanos Higuera, Goyo Gastelum, Los Dos Primos, Hermanos Herrera, and Los Fantastic 5 to celebrate Puig’s skills.
2) HOMENAJE AL TORO VALENZUELA
Is there a Mexican/Chicano alive who doesn’t know who Fernando Valenzuela is? Valenzuela was born in the little town of Etchohuaquila, Sonora, and grew up to be one of the most popular pitchers to ever play for the Dodgers, much less major league baseball.
For the first time in history, there was a player who connected with LA’s Mexican and Latino community, not only because he looked hella paisa (thanks to his mustache and beer belly) but because he was a great pitcher with a killer screwball that struck dudes out left and right en Español.
Fernandomania may not have erased memories of Chavez Ravine, but it did lessen the pain of the past by giving us a player who loved and supported his community in his new home. His work speaks volumes about the man but Los Invasores De Nuevo León went ahead and immortalized him in song anyway.
3) EL CORRIDO DE CHRISTIAN “EL CHUCHO” BENITEZ
Miguel “El Patrón” Gastelum is something of a cult figure among the world of sports corridos. This tribute to Christian “El Chucho” Benítez isn’t his first tribute and it certainly won’t be his last.
Gastelum wrote the song to the late striker from Ecuador who passed away this summer due to cardiac arrest. His death was not only shocking but troubling. How does a 27-year-old athlete enjoying the peak of his career die of a heart attack?
Benítez had just arrived in Qatar to start his first season with El Jaish following two great seasons with Mexico’s Club América, where he won a league title. The unthinkable happened and Gastelum took his guitar in hand and wrote this touching tribute.
4) EL CORRIDO DE JAVIER “EL CHICARITO” HERNANDEZ
El Patrón returns to our list with a corrido dedicated to none other than Mexico’s current most famous player, Javier “El Chicharito” Hernández.
Gastelum wrote the song in 2011 after Chicharito signed a deal with Manchester United. Hernández left his hometown squad of Chivas de Guadalajara and flew to Europe where many hoped he’d kick all sorts of ass. Unfortunately, former coach, Sir Alex Ferguson, didn’t give him too much time on the pitch and current coach David Moyes has yet to integrate Chicharito into the squad full time. His performance has suffered ever since (not including that time he scored three goals in the second half to save Man U’s pathetic ass from a loss).
5) EL CORRIDO DE LA SELECCION MEXICANA 2011 (SI SE PUEDE, YA SE PUDO)
Finally, we end with El Patrón (once again) with his corrido celebrating Mexico’s Gold Cup win in Pasadena 2011. I’ll let the video speak for itself. Is it just me or does it look like Gastelum had one too many Micheladas?
(Photo Credit: Ozfan22)