‘Friends,’ the Sitcom That’s Still a Hit in Major League Baseball

What has the sitcom done for his English proficiency?

“It’s near perfect,” said Flores’s teammate, Jerry Blevins, who is from Tennessee. “When he doesn’t know something, it’s surprising.”

Flores, Peralta and Galvis built a rudimentary command of English in school in Venezuela. “But I always got bad grades because I didn’t like that way of learning,” Galvis said.

Gonzalez, who was surrounded by Spanish, his first language, at home, also had English classes in school when he moved to Southern California. Some players also received English instruction after signing with a team.


Mets infielder Wilmer Flores uses the theme song from “Friends” as his walk-up music when he bats during home games.

Adam Hunger/Associated Press

But these players said that they learned more when they arrived in the United States and fully plunged into English. In terms of immersion, few things compare to landing in a small minor-league town with few Spanish speakers — and needing to order food.

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