WASHINGTON -- Manny Acta is living proof that the American Dream is alive and well. His eyes welled as he was talking about becoming the second manager in Nationals history. During his introductory news conference on Tuesday, he said he felt grateful coming from the Dominican Republic and being able to be a success in the United States.
"An immigrant from the Dominican Republic like me, I come to America, work hard, kept his nose clean and get my chance to manage the capital of the United States baseball team. God Bless America. Only here," Acta said.
But nearly three hours later during a private session with Nationals reporters, Acta acknowledged that some of those tears were for his adopted brother, Fernando, who passed away last summer in the Dominican Republic because of a brain aneurism. It was Fernando who told Manny he had what it took to be a manager and was the one who always gave him sound advice over the years.
"I was telling my younger brother a couple of days ago that it's very sad that Fernando not here to see me achieve this. He kept telling me over the last three or four years, 'Be patient. You are young. You're time will come and everything will be fine,' " Acta said. "From the day I got the news, I'm sad that he is not here to see it. Hopefully he is seeing it from upstairs."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.