SPORTS BABE OF THE DAY PRESENTS: Danny Salazar, Pitcher, Cleveland Indians, @DannySalazar67
If you haven’t heard of Danny Salazar yet, you will this season.
Salazar is a player to watch in 2014. This 24 year-old, right-handed starting pitcher for the Cleveland Indians posted a 2-3 record with a 3.12 ERA and 65 strikeouts last season. What’s with the limited number of starts, you ask? Salazar spent the first half of the year with Cleveland’s Double-A affiliate, the Akron Aeros, followed by a stint at Triple-A Columbus before being recalled in July.
His first big league start included seven strikeouts, and he took a no-hitter into the 6th inning. Impressive? I’d say so. Indians manager Terry Francona was impressed, too. So impressed, that he tapped Salazar as the starting pitcher for the American League Wild Card game against the Tampa Bay Rays in October.
Though the Indians lost the game and the Tampa Bay Rays advanced to the American League Championship Series, Salazar gave a strong performance. This guy has a bright future ahead of him, and I am so excited he was able to give us a little peek into his life!
20 QUESTIONS WITH DANNY SALAZAR
1. How old were you when you started playing baseball?
7 years old.
2. When did you realize you wanted to play professionally?
When I was 13 I noticed that I played good, so I said that someday I could sign with any team!
3. Which players did you look up to as a kid?
Pedro Martinez and Sammy Sosa, those were the best two players in the world.
4. Most intimidating hitter you’ve faced so far?
5. How would you describe Cleveland Indians fans?
Just gonna say it simple: WE HAVE THE BEST FANS IN THE UNIVERSE.
6. Where are your favorite places to play on the road?
Anaheim & Minnesota so far.
7. Do you have any gameday rituals or superstitions?
No, I don’t. I am not superstitious at all.
8. You started the Wild Card game for the Indians this past season. What was that like?
That was a dream come true…except we lost, that was the sour part.
9. You have some amazing teammates in Cleveland, who are your closest friends on the team?
Asdrubal [Cabrera], Ubaldo [Jimenez], and [Carlos] Santana.
10. Tell me about what you did during the offseason!
I always rest the first two weeks…spending time with my family and friends, and then start practice again.
11. If you weren’t playing baseball for a career, what would you be doing?
System Engineer. I love computers and technology.
12. Are you currently or do you plan to be involved with any charities? If so, what causes are you passionate about?
I’m thinking about that because I love helping people — especially the kids.
13. What kind of advice would you give to young baseball players who dream of one day pitching for a Major League Baseball team?
You can be anything you want. If your dream is to be a baseball player, you just have to wake up and go for it. But, you have to remember this always — that everything needs dedication, passion, and patience.
14. Do you have a favorite quote, personal mantra, or something special that motivates you?
I have two daughters. They are the reason I wake up every morning saying to myself, “you have to work hard today to give them the life you want them to live”.
15. Aside from baseball, what sports do you like to play or watch?
Aside from baseball, I like watching every sport except NASCAR! [Laughs.]
16. What is something we might not know about you that we would be surprised to find out?
I’m a shy person…if I don’t know you, its hard for me to start a conversation sometimes.
17. Favorite vacation spot?
My country, Dominican Republic.
18. Favorite food?
I love filet mignon.
19. An important question for all of our Sports Babes — Are you single, dating, or taken?
I’m happily taken!
20. What do you want to be remembered for?
I guess my personality and my work ethic