Ken Rosenthal / FOXSports.com
Posted: 3 hours ago
Former Reds closer Danny Graves, the only major leaguer born in Vietnam, helped dedicate the country's first baseball field this off-season.
It was Graves' first trip to Vietnam; his family moved to the U.S. shortly before the fall of Saigon, when he was 14 months old.
Graves' mother, Thao, is Vietnamese; she met Graves' late father, an American serviceman, while working at the U.S. embassy. Thao accompanied Danny and his wife, Andrea, on the trip — which was organized by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. It also was Thao's first visit to Vietnam since the family left more than three decades ago.
Graves, 32, says he did not want to make the trip until his mother was ready to return. Now he plans to visit more regularly and talks of going back with his brother Frank, 34, who also was born in Vietnam.
"They want me to eventually be the coach of the World Cup team in Vietnam," Graves says. "The political people we met, they were all telling me that. I said it's a good idea, but how about player-coach? I'm not ready to stop playing anytime soon."
Graves is trying to revive his career with the Indians as a non-roster player. He allowed a combined 82 base-runners in 32 2/3 innings with the Reds and Mets last season, posting a 6.52 ERA.
"I know it's a cliche, but this is the best I've felt in a long time — physically, and more important, mentally," Graves says.