Although football stole the show this weekend because of the Super Bowl, Venezuela’s star baseball player Johan Santana continues to make headlines.
Today, the New York Daily News calls Santana “The Spirit of Venezuela.” The baseball field in his home town of Tovar, Venezuela proudly announces, “Welcome to The Territory of Johan Santana.”
A scout from the Houston Astros first noticed the budding Venezuelan player back in 1994, when Santana was only 15 years old. The first contract he signed with the Astros — at the age of 16 — was worth $15,000.
Back then, perhaps no one would have predicted the extent of Santana’s achievements, for he has just become the highest-paid pitcher in the U.S. Last Friday, the Venezuelan star signed a seven-year contract with the New York Mets that is worth an astounding $151 million.