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Gomes thrilled by encouragement from Pele

Gomes thrilled by encouragement from Pele

Gomes thrilled by encouragement from Pele

MINNEAPOLIS -- Yan Gomes is currently the face of baseball in his home country of Brazil. The face of sports in his homeland simply goes by one name: Pele.

Imagine Gomes' surprise over the All-Star break when Pele, the legendary Brazilian soccer player, posted a pair of encouraging messages on Twitter about the young Indians catcher. Gomes was ecstatic that one of his country's premiere sports heroes had reached out to him.

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"That was freaking awesome, man," Gomes said with a smile. "Can you imagine Babe Ruth tweeting you?"

The two posts from Pele landed on Monday.

"[Gomes] is such an inspiration for all the Brazilian kids dreaming to play in the [MLB] one day," Pele wrote. "All my encouragement to [Gomes] in his mission to promote baseball in Brazil."

Gomes said it took him a couple of hours to respond, because the catcher was so nervous.

"A lot of people were going to see it, especially in Brazil," Gomes said. "I wanted to make sure I said the right things."

When he finally logged in to his profile page, Gomes wrote: "What a great honor to receive support from [Pele] a great person who has inspired myself and so many others!"

Gomes, who is the only Brazilian-born player to reach the Major Leagues, hopes he can do the same for kids pursuing baseball in his country.

"I just try to set a good example," Gomes said. "That's pretty much it. I want to set a good example for guys and whenever I go down to Brazil, to inspire others."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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