There are baseball legends who had to wait years to achieve a World Series. Others retired without knowing what it is to be the champion of professional baseball. At just 21 years old, Juan Soto has already achieved that dream.
The Dominican baseball player was one of the maximum responsible for the brilliant victory of the Washington Nationals against the Houston Astros in the recent World Series. His hits brought the team from the federal capital to life at the crucial moments of this postseason and contributed decisively to the fact that his long-suffering fans could finally celebrate a championship.
That brilliant performance, along with his tender age, have made him one of the most promising names in professional baseball and around him dance rumors of contracts with astronomical figures that would make anyone lose their minds.
Well, apparently to anyone but Soto, who on a visit to People en Español seemed to be totally oblivious to all the noise that his performance in the diamond has generated and assured that as in his house in the Dominican Republic, with his parents, he did not it's nowhere.
“Happiness has not been about money, but being with my family, enjoying, talking to them, talking. That is what makes me happy. That is why I play, "she said. “It is what in the end has made me not go crazy [with success]. Of course, everyone wants to earn good money and enjoy a little. But for me, in the end, my happiness is my family”.
His mother, when she visits him in Washington, fills her refrigerator with homemade food. You can never miss the ripe plantain pastry, your favorite dish. He is also the one who sends the hair products, which seem to give him good results. When the Nationals visited the White House after his victory, President Donald Trump himself, an expert on the matter, told him that he had "very beautiful hair."
His family continues to live in his house in Santo Domingo, where he goes when baseball gives him a break and where he dreamed of watching professional baseball on television since he was a child that one day he could succeed in the major leagues. So, he said, when the Nationals were crowned champions on Oct. 30, their first thought was for their own.
Like thousands of children in his country, since he learned to swing the bat and hit the ball, Soto aspired to be a major league baseball player. His wish began to come true at age 16, when Nationals scouts saw him at games in Fort Lauderdale, FL, and signed him as a player in the minor leagues, where there are none of the comforts of big teams. and the work schedules are brutal.
"It is very hard, people in the end just see the result," said Soto, who goes to the Los Hermanos Rosario merengue when he wants to warm up.
“When you are in the minor leagues, you have to travel 10 hours on a bus, get there and almost without resting get to play. Having money, not being able to go buy food, go hungry. It is very strong. You have to be mentally and physically strong to go through that process, "he added.
From the minors, he promoted to the Nationals last year and then, against all odds, this year they were proclaimed champions. A success that came to Soto so early that at first he could not celebrate his age with beer or champagne and had to be content with sparkling water.
His first drink, in fact, could have been taken in celebration of his decisive victory against the Astros. "The boys told me: 'You are already 21, you have to celebrate." I will never forget my first beer, at the time it was. For me it was very nice”, he pointed out.
On his future, he assured that he wants to continue with the Nationals to defend the title next season, but with the negotiation of a new contract on the horizon, the question is how much they would pay him. In the Dominican press, statements attributed to Soto's father appeared in which he said that his son's agent, Scott Boras, had told him that in his next contract they could get a record amount of $ 500 million.
If so, the young baseball player says he knows nothing. "The Nationals have never come to me, nor have they talked to me about any of that. No credible offer has been made to me. There is nothing certain”, he clarified.
What is certain is that in a few days he plans to return to his country to take a break with his loved ones.
“When I arrive in the Dominican Republic we get together, we are a lot. From my mom there are 10 brothers. They go to the house, cook, we play dominoes, we watch television, we chat … for me that is the most beautiful thing there is,”she said. "For me that is the emotion of returning to my country."
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