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“Like everything in the game it’s about concentration and preparation,” Polanco explained.
“I try to anticipate the play and get into position to execute it. Defense is something I take pride in and I work very hard to stay sharp.”
Noted first baseman Miguel Cabrera commented, “Playing on the same side of the infield with Polanco I see every day what he does with his glove. We never have to worry about his position, because he’s an excellent defender.”
Concurred infielder Ramon Santiago: “He is one of the best second basemen in the league. He’s a great No. 2 hitter and an even better teammate.”
Born in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, Polanco is another in the remarkable and incredible migration of baseball players from the island nation.
Since 1960, according to Baseball-Reference.com, a total of close to 500 players from his country have played for a Major League Baseball team. Baseball has and will always be his country’s shining light.
Pitchers like Joaquin Andujar, Juan Marichal and Pedro Martinez, and hitters like George Bell, Rico Carty, Cesar Cedeno, Julio Franco, Pedro and Vladimir Guerrero, David “Big Poppy” Ortiz, Manny Mota, Tony Pena, Albert Pujols, Manny Ramirez, Alfonso Soriano, Miguel Tejada, and Felipe, Jesus and Matty Alou have all shinned in America.
“My entire life I always wanted it,” Polanco said, “but you do not know if it is really going to happen. Still I think because we have had so many big leaguers it motivated me to do everything I could to make it happen.
“Baseball is everything in my country. We do not have football, hockey and basketball. Everyone plays the game. You’ll see kids playing baseball with a paper ball and sticks all day and every day.”
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