Episode 14 Eloy Jimenez @the_bigbaby74
In episode 14 of "Talking with the Stars" brought to you by sportswinmore's journalist Mike Rodriguez, @mikerodrigueztv talks to @the_bigbaby74 Eloy Jimenez, a Chicacgo White Sox left fielder who is having a breakout year so far with 11 home runs and 30 rbi batting .280. The White Sox are currently the first place in the AL Central. @the_bigbaby74 talks about growing up in D.R being interested in multiple sports growing up and the long grind of playing in the minors. Watching his journey and seeing the power in his bat is showing up big time this year.
Eloy let the people know where you were born
I was born in the capital of Francisca until I was 13. I started to play baseball at 9 years old.
Who taught you how to play baseball?
I told my dad I wanted to play, and he started to take notice, but he wanted me to play another sport. I was practicing basketball, but my dad wanted me to stop and I started to play baseball. I started to play in the park with my uncle and my dad did not like it, and they forced me to stop playing. I would lie to my father and tell him I was at baseball practice but really was playing basketball. I remember when I was 9 years old and then a baseball hit my head and I did that when I started to dislike it. The second time when I really took it serious I started to enjoy the game and more confident playing.
At what age did you start to notice that you had a bright future ahead of you?
I started to take baseball serious at 14 and I took like my profession just as intense you would study medicine and I dedicated my self to practicing every day. I had a tryout for the pirates when I was 14 and then my second was the cubs. I did not get a chance to try out for the White Sox until it was 2013.
What was the first contract you signed
The team talked to my agent, I had no idea that I was going to sign with the Cubs. I had Houston on the radar and my agent told me to do the tryout and I had a very good outing. I remember having a tryout for Houston and telling my father I was too tired or trying out for every team and not seeing any results. I wore the number one during tryouts in Houston and my agent approached me and said come to my room I need to speak to you. “ Look you have three teams who want to sign you, Texas, Houston, or the Cubs” I immediately said the cubs because I remembered watching the highlights of Sammy Sosa and Alfonso Soriano Aramis Ramirez in the neighborhood, and they were my favorite team and the rest is history.
How did you feel when you signed your first contract?
I felt excited my agents wanted to show me the other offers, but I was too eager to sign with the Cubs without knowing what the other teams were offering. I was grateful of the opportunity, I felt good I told my self I would get me and my family out of our original neighborhood, and we would move forward, so I didn’t ask for anything I aspired to play ball. Once they told me the amount I said “wow” that is a lot of money but I did not pay too much mind into it.
Growing up how was your economic household?
I grew up middle class, thank god in my household, we did not have the problem for having food or not being able to pay rent. My mom and dad both worked hard and me and my brother will always appreciate that. The way they worked and pushed us to be better people that was their way to show us love. Some days I used to see my mom on her day off, and she still would be working and me and my brother would always try to help out. My mom was a nurse and my dad was a physical education teacher, so both of my parent were hard workers.
What was your first purchase with your check?
Only if you knew. I had so much idea on what to buy before, but the only thing I bet was an iPhone. It was an iPhone 5 and I told my parents to teach me how to run my money and the only thing that I wanted was a cellphone. That day we went to buy the phone and that was it I saved my money.
When you first started to play for the cubs did you play in the minors.
I got sent to Arizona for spring training, and they left me in Arizona for the first season, my first at-bat was a strikeout. I had to bat DH, and I was injured in the arm, so they didn’t put me in the outfield. I returned to DR to finish school and once when I came back my second season the first at-bat was a double. I lasted five years in the minors and than I got traded to the White Sox for two years and finally got my chance.
How did you feel when you got traded from the Cubs to the White Sox?
How can I tell you it was an uncomfortable change I felt bad because I noticed if they traded me It must be that they think I am not good. When I got traded we were playing cubs in a three game series so the very next day I was playing my old teammates. As soon as i arrived to the team facility I knew the White Sox, they were stricter, with rules and specifically facial hair and equipment. The first week it felt weird, but from than I started to chat it up with the teammates and it grew on me.
When did you get the call up to the big leagues?
It was during spring training when I signed the contract and the general manager called me and asked if I was ready and I arrived in opening day and I had so much nerve if I should laugh or cry I was very emotional. The first time that I arrived to home plate, it felt weird it was just a very emotional experience and I just kept staring at the crowd. My first at-bat, I struck out from a pitcher in Kansas City. I started using the red gloves in 2017 because my grandfather died of cancer and I switched it to red with the White Sox approval.
Check out the interview down below
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