BOSTON – Miguel Sanó was leaving the hospital Monday with Danea, his newborn daughter, when he received a call from Nelson Cruz.
“Hey, I’m going to play first base tomorrow,” Cruz told Sanó.
“Seriously?” Sanó answered, incredulous.
It is not surprising that Cruz immediately called Sanó to tell him that at 41 he was going to make his debut at first base, since when they were teammates in the Twins, the Dominican compatriots spent many hours practicing in that position in training. spring and before games at Target Field.
And although Sanó was in another city when Cruz’s defensive experiment occurred, he was with his mentor in a way: Cruz played seven innings at Citizens Bank Park wearing the first baseman glove that Sanó gave him in 2019.
“The first year, [en el 2019]I made one for him and one for me, the one I used here and the one he has, ”said Sanó.
Sanó explained that he had two first base gloves made this season – one to match the uniforms the Minnesota team wears on the road and another to match the brighter colors of the home kit. When the Twins signed Cruz as a free agent, he and Sanó forged a great friendship and Sanó gifted one of the gloves to Cruz. The names of two of Sanó’s sons are baked on the gloves. And when Danea was born, Cruz was named her godfather.
And after Cruz used that glove to catch a shot from his compatriot, Tampa Bay shortstop Wander Franco, he made sure to call Sanó to tell him – and to thank him.
“He called me and said, ‘Hey, I made a play,’” Sanó said. “And he said that I taught him how to play that play.”
Cruz used to be the mentor, since Sanó learned to play first base before the 2020 season. Sanó related that Cruz made him a compilation of videos of Venezuelan Miguel Cabrera, Dominican Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and others to help you learn the details of the position. And Sanó insists that he taught him how to catch pecks, something for which Sanó has a natural ability.
“We make a good team,” said Sanó.