Graterol said that he was nervous and anxious to meet Cabrera. Once he had the legend in front of him, he said, he didn’t know what to say to a player who he grew up watching as a kid in Venezuela.
“To be honest, I just told him, ‘I have no words right now,’” Graterol said in Spanish. “I congratulated him for the 3,000 hits and for all the hits that are still coming. But I didn’t know what else to tell him. I was just so excited.”
During their conversation, Graterol told Cabrera there was one other person who wanted to meet him: his mother, Ismalia. Graterol credits his mother for all his successes in life, and he wanted her to be a part of that special moment. Ismalia is also a big fan of Cabrera.
“My mom has been wanting to meet him for so long,” Graterol said. “I called her on FaceTime and we talked for a bit. It was just an unbelievable moment not just for me, but for my mom and my entire family.”
When Graterol was 15 years old, his first baseball jersey was a Cabrera one. He hoped to one day get to the big leagues, just like Cabrera. On Saturday, the two shared another moment and Cabrera let him know that he’ll be sending over another one of his jerseys, but this one will be signed by the future Hall of Famer.
“It’s a moment that I’ll never forget,” Graterol said.