Prepped and ready for the next game, Alexie Ramirez gives me a friendly dig in his native tongue as I caught up with him after his Padres debut on Opening Day. “That accent never fails,” he says with a chuckle referring to my colloquialisms from the Dominican Republic.
Ramirez played in his native country of Cuba before heading to the Dominican Republic in 2007, an experience we bonded over since that’s where my family is from.
The man known for his agility and fancy moves at short stop also puts a lot of pressure on himself every single time he steps onto the field. I asked him about his mentality going into each game and he says it’s simple: “To be well prepared. You have to be prepared before each play and I think it makes everything easier. It’s about getting into your routine, as I like to say.”
Ramirez is already making an impact in San Diego as he gels with his double-play partner Corey Spangenberg, but Ramirez also wants to inspire others and hopes his perseverance on and off the diamond will also change lives for those back home in Cuba especially future all-stars saying,” I came from the streets like those kids you just mentioned. I think the motivation and the desire are fundamental. When you apply yourself to do what you want to do in life, you can achieve it.
I don’t think anything is impossible and here I am. I think my life is an example. Look at my life as an example as someone who dedicates himself to his job and here it is.”
Next up for the Ramirez and the Padres is a trip to Philadelphia for four game series against the Phillies.