Trader Marco Polo was one of the first Europeans to travel to China, staying away from his homeland in Italy for 24 years before returning. After he came back to Italy, Marco wrote of his travels and adventures in East Asia in his book, Il Milione, sharing his tales with other Europeans. Polo changed the way Europeans saw the world by opening their eyes to the wonderful culture and people of China. Learn the story of one of the worlds most famous explorers and traders in Marco Polo: 13th-Century Italian Trader.
All of his life, Dwyane Wade has been meeting challenges. His parents separated when he was an infant. When he was six, he had to leave his mother's home because of her drug abuse. While living with his father, Dwyane learned basketball but not academics. Because of Dwyane's low test scores, only three colleges recruited him. But after starring for two seasons at Marquette University, Dwyane left college early to enter the NBA draft in 2003. Although Dwyane was overshadowed in the draft by superstars LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, the young star has put together an exceptional NBA career. He led Miami to an NBA championship in 2006, won a scoring title in 2009, and was a key player when the Heat won a second championship in 2012. But Dwyane also remembers his roots, giving back to the community through his charitable Wade's World Foundation.
A German composer born in the 1700s, Ludwig van Beethoven has given the world some of the most well-known and long-lasting music of all time. From his Fr Elise to his 9th Symphony (in which a choir sings words from the poem Ode to Joy), Beethoven's music is still loved, almost 200 years after his death. Amazingly, Beethoven composed music while being unable to hear almost anything from the time he was 26, a feat which makes his brilliant compositions all the more wonderful. Few musicians have had the incredible impact on music that Beethoven had. Learn the story of one of the most important musical composers of all time in Ludwig van Beethoven: Great Composer.
Carlos Peña has had great success in Major League Baseball. He has won awards and won games. He's played in the All-Star Game and made millions of dollars. Read about Pea's journey to reach his dreams. Learn what it took for Pea to work his way through the minor leagues before playing with the Texas Rangers. Follow the life story of this great baseball player!
José Reyes has become one of baseball's biggest stars. He has led the National League in stolen bases and batting average. He has played in the All-Star Game, won awards, and made millions of dollars. His time in the Major Leagues has been a dream-come-true for the Dominican player. Learn about the life of one of baseball's newest stars. Read how he worked his way through the minor leagues to play for the New York Mets. Discover the story of one of baseball's superstars!
A painter, poet, sculptor, and more, Michelangelo was one of the most important artists that ever lived. Many of Michelangelo's works are among the most famous in the world, visited by tourists from around the world every day. His painting in the Sistine Chapel in Rome has impressed and inspired people for centuries. His sculpture David is known around the globe. Learn the story of one of the most important artists of all time in Michelangelo: Renaissance Artist.
Not many baseball players are as legendary as Roberto Clemente. He broke color barriers. He gave back to his community. And through it all, he played great baseball. During his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, he did some amazing things. Sadly, Clemente's life was cut short by a plane crash. Today, however, his memory lives on. Fans everywhere still think of the player from Puerto Rico as an inspiration to us all.
José Bautista has only been in the Major Leagues a few years. But he's already had an amazing career in baseball. He's played in the All-Star Game, he's won awards, and he's made millions of dollars. Bautista even hit more than 50 home runs in one season! Fans love to see him knock a ball out of the park! Learn how Bautista spent years in the minor leagues before making it to the Majors. Discover the story of how Bautista never gave up on his dream of playing in the Major Leagues, even when things were tough.
Jhonny Peralta has had an amazing baseball career. He's played in playoff series and in the All-Star Game. He's won awards and made millions of dollars. Growing up in the Dominican Republic, Peralta dreamed of playing under stadium lights wearing an MLB uniform. Today, Peralta has lived those dreams. Read about Peralta's path from the Dominican Republic to the Major Leagues. Discover how Peralta worked hard to reach his goals while staying true to himself.
Bartolo Colón is an amazing pitcher. His arm has earned him awards and millions of dollars. At the same time, he's started his own family and helped his homeland, the Dominican Republic. Colón may be a superstar, but he's never forgotten his roots, and he's always stayed true to himself. Discover how he went from living in a house without electricity . . . all the way to the Big Leagues!
Rafael Furcal has had an amazing career in baseball. He's won a World Series. He's played in the All-Star Game. Besides all that, Furcal has also been able to focus on what is most important to him. He's been able to buy his family the things they couldn't afford when he was growing up. He has helped the people of his hometown in the Dominican Republic. Learn how Furcal has found success in Major League Baseball. Read about his life growing up in the Dominican Republic. Discover the story of how Furcal kept following his dreams even when things were hard.
Miguel Batista is a pitcher who can enter a game at a moment's notice. He's spent a long time on the field and knows baseball inside and out. He's also an interesting person outside of baseball. Batista spends his time reading, doing charity, and publishing poems and novels. Follow Batista as he makes his way through the game. He's had a long journey--one that isn't over yet!
Francisco Cordero--or "Coco", as his fans and teammates know him--is a top-notch pitcher. He strikes out batters with his fastballs and sliders. He's racked up a lot of saves over the years as a closing pitcher for teams like the Rangers, the Brewers, and the Reds. Although when Cordero was a child, his family struggled with poverty, Cordero now does his part to help others who are struggling. He's a Big League player with character!
Nelson Cruz has had an amazing career in baseball. He's played in the World Series. He's played in the All-Star Game. He's broken records and made millions of dollars. Cruz is the only player in baseball history to hit a walk-off grand slam in a postseason game! Learn about the long path Cruz took to reach his dream of playing baseball. Read how he went from playing in the Dominican Summer League to hitting home runs in the World Series. Discover the story of how Cruz worked hard to make his way through the minor leagues to play in the MLB.
Francisco Liriano is a powerful Major League pitcher. Fans have watched him overcome injury after injury. He always comes back! His amazing stats and strong pitching arm have earned him awards, as well as millions of dollars. Ever since he was a young baseball player in the Dominican Republic, Liriano has been one of a kind. Find out more about his road to the Big Leagues--and discover what it takes to be a baseball superstar!
Aramis Ramrez is one of the Dominican players who have made it all the way to the top. Today, he's a great third basemen with a smart and powerful batting style. His career so far has been filled with mostly successes. Read how Ramrez made it big even as the MLB's youngest player. Follow his story from the minor leagues to his latest moves.
Today, José Valverde is one of baseball's best relief pitchers. Valverde has pitched in the All-Star game. He's won awards and made millions of dollars. Valverde even had a perfect regular season in 2011! Valverde's path to finding success in the MLB was a long one, though. He had to work hard to make it to where he is today. Read how Valverde started playing baseball thanks to his uncle, former MLB pitcher José Mercedes. Learn about Valverde's success in the minor leagues and find out how he became one of baseball's best pitchers.
Johan Santana is a baseball star from a country better known for its soccer players. But Santana really shines as one of the best pitchers in baseball. His fastballs and changeups keep fans and batters guessing. His talent has made him a fan favorite. Read about how Santana fought his way to the top--from playing ball in the neighborhood to making it in the Big Leagues. His journey to the top hasn't always been smooth, but Johan Santana has fought hard to earn his place in baseball.
Carlos González is a baseball star that crosses borders. He appears in games in Venezuela and in the United States, winning fans everywhere. "Cargo," as he's known to fans, has made an impression on the baseball world. Singles, doubles, homeruns--González keeps the other team on their toes. González is still at the beginning of his career, so who knows what he'll do next. His awards are adding up, and he's sure to win more awards and honors in the future.
Yadier Molina is part of a trio of brothers that are taking the baseball world by storm. Yadier, the youngest, might also be the best player. He's one of the best catchers in baseball today. During his decade with the St. Louis Cardinals, Molina has had an impressive career. Base stealers rarely have a chance when Molina is behind the plate! He can catch every ball thrown to him, and he's helped the Cardinals win game after game. Discover how Yadier Molina got so good!
Carlos Beltrán was a boy who wanted to be a baseball star. He worked hard in Puerto Rico to achieve his dream. Today, he's a professional baseball player with impressive accomplishments. As a batter and centerfielder, Beltrán lights up the game. Follow Beltrán's journey from amateur to minor leaguer to professional player. Beltrán has played for four different major league teams--and he has shown them all just what he can do on the field. Fans everywhere can't get enough of Carlos Beltrán!
Hanley Ramírez has become one of baseball's biggest stars. The young player has only been in the Majors since 2005, but he's already done many things other players only dream of doing. He was named Rookie of the Year, he's played in the All-Star Game three times, he has won awards, and he's made millions playing in the Major Leagues. Read about Ramírez's journey from the Dominican Republic to the MLB. Learn how Ramírez became the player fans love to watch today!
Tim Duncan might just be the greatest power forward in NBA history, and strangely enough, he almost never learned how to play the game. Duncan's first love was swimming, but when a devastating hurricane left his training area in polluted ruins, he turned to basketball. Hard work and a great talent for the game would take him on a journey from his hometown of Christiansted in the Virgin Islands to Wake Forest and ultimately to the San Antonio Spurs. Duncan has led the Spurs to four championships, winning the NBA Final's Most Valuable Player award on three occasions. He has been chosen for the NBA's All-Star team 13 times, and was named the league MVP in 2002 and 2003. Despite his quiet demeanor, Tim has become a dominant force on the hardwood. He has also found success away from the game in family life with his wife Amy and their two children, as well as in his work with the Tim Duncan Foundation.
Venus and Serena Williams grew up in Compton, California where they sometimes heard gunfire as they learned how to play tennis at a local playground. As teenagers, they grew into athletic women whose powerful serves often overwhelmed their opponents. In time, each sister would climb to the top rankings of international women's tennis. They have also maintained interests off the court; Venus has become a successful interior designer, while Serena has taken several acting roles and also designs women's fashions. But there have been dark days for the two sisters as well. Both have had to deal with racism, and to endure nagging injuries that have sidelined them for months. They also experienced the tragedy of a sister murdered on the streets of Compton. Venus and Serena have stayed competitive, however, and each is committed to remaining among the best players on the women's tennis tour for many more years.
Adam Sandler is one of the world's most popular actors, and is known for his wildly creative sense of humor, which launched him to television and film stardom. He first became famous as a cast member on Saturday Night Live during the early 1990s. Fans loved the wacky characters Sandler created on the show, such as Cajun Man and Operaman. They were also impressed with the bravery he showed by being willing to do anything to make people laugh. Sandler used that same comedic genius to become a star in movies such as The Waterboy, Big Daddy, and Grown Ups. He has also made films like Reign Over Me, which show he is a fine dramatic actor. And Sandler not only acts in movies but also makes them. He started Happy Madison Productions so he could create films that reflect his unique sense of what is funny.