Sports Babe Of The Day: Jayson Hernandez, Catcher in the Boston Red Sox Organization, @Jays0n_Hernan
Does the name “Jayson Hernandez” sound familiar? If you’re a fan of the Boston Red Sox, or watch a lot of ESPN, it should!
Jay received national attention after Hurricane Sandy hit the Jersey Shore in 2012, with his charitable relief fund called Grand Slam for Sandy; He initially started the campaign in attempts to raise $500 for the Red Cross, but after his electronic flyer went viral (with the help of social media), the right people caught wind of him.
His work was featured on ESPN and The MLB Network, with celebrities and athletes doing their part to help, eventually raising over $22,000! Suddenly, people were noticing this Minor League Catcher for more than his skill behind the plate; everyone got the chance to know the constantly-smiling, big-hearted Jayson Hernandez.
As a Rutgers Alum, Jay was drafted by the BoSox org in the 2010 Amateur Draft. Working his way through the ranks of the BoSox Farm System, Jay’s energy, positivity, and compassion are undoubtedly appreciated in the clubhouse — but don’t let his “nice guy” demeanor fool you… he has a mischievous side, too!
After we had a chance to chat with him, a few of our babes were left bummed that he has his sight set on another Sports Babe, though we’re all happy that he confirmed: YOGA PANTS ARE IN!
24 Questions with Jay Hernandez
- Who was your number one influence growing up? What made you decide to play baseball?
My dad. He played a little bit of college baseball. I always heard stories from my relatives, my grandfather, my uncles and stuff, about how good of a player he was. He (my dad) has always pushed me to do well! One of his most memorable sayings when I was younger was “I’m going to be your biggest fan, but I’ll be your biggest critic too”. He definitely pushed me to get where I am right now.
- Would you say he’s your biggest fan?
Did you play any other sports as a child?
Baseball was always really the main sport in our house. I played basketball and football growing up, so it was year-round for us! My parents had me involved in any sports I could get my hands on. I give a lot of credit to them for that — like in the fall, we’d be running from football practice to fall baseball, going back into basketball in the winter, and baseball again in the spring. Definitely a full year.
- Everyone has a pump-up song for while they’re pre-gaming, getting ready, etc. What song is #1 on your getting-ready mix right now?
Under Control by Calvin Harris. My one roommate and I listen to it before every game, and we’ve been putting it on in the locker room. The guys love it. I’m really into EDM music, so I mean my walkout song last year was Avicii Levels, but the Skrillex remix. That song gets me going too. I put it on in the locker room a lot, and the guys don’t like it, but I jump up and jump around… that’s how I warm up and get loose.
- Isn’t that your walk-up song again this year?
Yeah! I figured I had success with it last year, so if it’s not broke – don’t fix it!
- You’ve been kind of superstitious in the past, when it comes to game-day routines. Can you tell us a little about that?
I have this jock strap that I’ve used for the last four years — I’m not kidding! I wear that every game. I’m really superstitious, even down to the way I put my socks on. Last year, I forgot my red socks for a roadtrip, and the only extras we had in the bag were green, for some reason… so I wore the green socks that day, and went with my pants down, and got three hits! I wore green socks with my pants down from the All-Star Break on, for the whole year! The way I put my pants on, what undershirt I wear… I mean, whatever will get me hits, I’ll do. It could be food, music, honestly… anything. If I had a good game that night, I’ll do the same thing the next day.
- What’s the weirdest thing we might find in your suitcase?
I’m really simple, honestly. Most of the time I don’t even fold my clothes — I just throw them in there! You’d probably just find clothes and sandals; I hate wearing shoes! I’m an open-toed sandal kind of guy.
- Because you’ve traveled a fair bit during the season, what’s one thing you can’t leave home without?
My tablet is kind of attached at the hip. Everywhere I go, I’m using it! It’s a Samsung Galaxy tab! I was an Apple guy, but I switched off, and like the Android stuff… even though I still use an iPhone.
- What’s the best clubhouse or hotel prank you’ve seen?
The best thing I’ve ever seen was when I was playing in college. It was at our place. I had two teammates that always pranked each other and one would be leaving for the field and the other would drop a bucket of water on him from the third floor or the other guy would walk in the house and he’d get a fire extinguisher off in the face. The best thing I ever saw was when one teammate bought something like 2,000 crickets from a pet store, and released them in another guy’s car during the game. After the game, he got out of his car and had 2,000 crickets jumping around and chirping and it was by far the funniest thing we’d all seen.
- Beyond the game, and some hilarious pranks, you’re also known for doing a lot of good, especially after your Grand Slam for Sandy campaign. Five years from now, do you still want to be doing charitable events with your career?
My family is very religious – I have three or four pastors in my family, we’re Christian, and we grew up by my Dad’s example that any good deeds you do will come back to you. I want to do right in my life, and charity work is a big thing for me. There’s an organization called Athletes in Action that is Christian-based, and we do a lot of cleanup and charity work, and working with inner-city kids. I’d love to do more of that. The way I look at it is that I’m on this stage right now playing professional baseball, and so now I have the stage to do it.
- Have you ever done anything with FCA? The Fellowship of Christian Athletes?
Yeah! Athletes in Action is a branch of the FCA. They do some really amazing things, and I’m happy to say I was involved with them in all four years of college.
- You signed your first Minor League contract, and then 10 days later you had your debut. That’s a pretty short turn around — what was that like for you?
It was awesome! My whole life, all I wanted to do was play Professional Baseball. A lot of guys take their time to sign, and I couldn’t sign quick enough! I will always remember walking into the stadium, looking around, seeing Red Sox flags, and thinking “Wow, I made it!”. I remember being out there in Massachusetts, making my debut to a packed crowd, and it was the best feeling in the world.
- Your scouting report said you’re an excellent defensive catcher with a strong, accurate throwing arm. What else do you want to be remembered for?
I want to be remembered for what kind of teammate and man I was! I want to be the guy that people look back and say “he was always upbeat, always there to work hard.” I want to establish a reputation of being the guy who is going to show up to the ballpark every day, give you everything I’ve got, and inspire people. That kind of outlook rubs off on teammates and creates good team chemistry, and when I’m 50 years old and look back, I want to be able to say “I put everything I had out in the field” instead of saying “I could have done better”
- What are the top three things on your bucket list?
I want to travel to Europe. I want to do Italy and Greece! I love food… especially Italian food, so that’s definitely on my bucket list!
I want to get a tattoo. I don’t have any yet, so that’s a big one!
I’ve always said that if I ever came into good money, when I’m done playing, I want buy an RV, take out $20,000, and travel around the country and see every sight I can see until that money runs out… honestly just wing it, and see what I can see!
- You just got promoted to AAA, but what has been the best part of the season so far with the Salem Red Sox?
We’re winning a lot! We had a little dry-spell, but our team chemistry is really good, so I think it’s easy for us to come to the ballpark every day.
- The MiLB are known for some hilarious game-night promotions… what has been the best so far?
Haha, Singles Night was hilarious. They auctioned off my roommate and I as a double-date, and the proceeds went to charity, for Breast Cancer Awareness. We made a funny video, and had to go out in front of the dugout in the middle of the game, and the girls got to bid on us… it was college night with dollar beers, so…
17. So the new relationship status worked out for you then, right? You’re no longer locked-down…
Yeah, recently single. The promo guys asked if I was up for the auction, so I thought it would be funny for charity.
- Do you have any relationship advice for our readers that are trying to make long-distance work?
I think communication and trust are the biggest keys, as with any relationship, honestly. Especially in a long-distance relationship… if you don’t trust each other, you’ll be second-guessing everything, and getting into arguments, and obviously that won’t work out. Just always be honest with the other person. Whether they’re feeling down, feeling good, just communicate. If you don’t like something I’m doing, or I don’t like something you’re doing, we need to let each other know right away. I can’t fix something that I’m doing wrong if I don’t know about it. Put all the cards on the table.
- What do you feel sexiest in?
It’s definitely my baseball pants.
- What is a woman sexiest in?
I’m a leg guy, and definitely a butt guy… so maybe a classy dress. Shorts. Yoga pants are always going to get me. God made baseball pants for women, and God made yoga pants for men!
- Describe to us what your ideal date looks like.
Dinner, maybe somewhere warm… I’m a big sushi guy, so maybe a sushi date. Being from Jersey (I’m from the Jersey Shore, and I hate the show), maybe walking on the boardwalk, and getting to know each other. If I can’t have a good conversation and it can’t flow, or things are awkward, then it won’t work for me. So Dinner, Walk, Talk!
- Describe to us what your ideal #SundayFunday looks like, during the off-season?
Oh man, my Sunday Funday would include a lot of football, a lot of chicken wings, and probably a decent amount of beer! The American Dream right there!
- Have you ever been star-struck, or have you ever fanboyed over meeting any other athletes or celebrities?
I’ll be honest… during my first Spring Training, I got to the clubhouse one day, and our Catching Instructor said “Hey, you’re with the Major League guys today!” Jason Varitek was still our Catcher, and I was playing side-by-side with all the guys that I grew up watching on TV. I’ll never forget that first day, playing with those guys. I was wide-eyed and nervous, and it’s funny looking back now; I can only imagine what I looked like talking to those guys.
- Who would you consider Babely enough to be featured as our next Sports Babe Of The Day?
Shawn Johnson, the USA Gymnast! I have a lot of respect for the time and practice those ladies put in to compete at the highest national level. What they do is pretty amazing! I admittedly had a huge crush on her when she was competing in the Olympics — I’ve typically dated short girls, so as a short and extremely athletic girl, she definitely caught my attention. I wish she had been at our Singles Auction!
THIS or THAT?
Chocolate or Vanilla Ice Cream
Beer, or wine
Club or Pub
Hmmm… depends on the night!
If you’re a Jersey boy, you probably love AC, huh?
Ohhh boy, Atlantic City has taken a lot of money from me! Yeah, but I do enjoy a lowdown pub, too. Depends on the night and company!
Rap or Rock
Smooth or Crunchy Peanut Butter
Cat or Dog
Twitter or Facebook
Surf or Turf
RomCom or Horror
Talk or Text
Who has more fun, Blondes, or Brunettes?
From my experience, I’m going to say Brunettes!
Tattoos or piercings
Tattoos. I love girls with tattoos. Actually, I love tattoos in general. The way you can get artistic with them is amazing.
Sweats or Jeans
Sun or Snow
If you want to keep in touch with Jay, follow him on Twitter and Instagram!