Why He’s Interesting: If the Cleveland Indians were a luxury sports car, third baseman Ramirez would be the engine. And the battery. And the radio. He just makes the team go (and looks like he has fun doing it), especially in the shortened 2020 season where he hit 17 home runs, including a walk-off bomb Sept. 22 that clinched a playoff spot for the team.
Bat Swap: Ramirez played his first full season in the MLB in 2016, which ended in a Game 7 World Series loss to the Chicago Cubs. He learned a lot that year from teammate Rajai Davis, whose Game 7 home run gave the squad hope against the Cubs. Even though Davis isn’t on the team anymore, Ramirez sometimes uses his bats, including the one for his Sept. 22 home run. “Those bats become something in Spanish we call cavala, like a superstition.”
Solid Gold: Ramirez is on a long-term deal under club control through 2023 but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t splurged. Two years ago, Ramirez bought a gold, diamond-studded chain emblazoned with his last name. “It’s part of who I am as a player. I just wanted to make sure people knew that I was ‘Ramirez.’ ”
Bundle of Joy: Ramirez had a down year statistically in 2019. But that summer was a win for him after his daughter, Isabela, was born. While the pandemic pushed back the start of baseball in 2020 by nearly four months, that extra time with his daughter was a blessing. “We always end up playing around, fooling around. Despite all of this, she’s the best thing that ever happened to me.”
Dual Sport Star: In order to fine-tune his game during the offseason, Ramirez uses an infield, hitting cages and more at his home in the Dominican Republic. But one of his favorite ways to get active is on his basketball court. “It’s always fun with all the guys that help me train during the offseason. I’m a big three-point shooter, so that’s what I like to do.”
Twitter, Handled: Taking cues from the team’s always funny Twitter account, Ramirez is a good follow too. His @MrLapara handle is the result of a brainstorming session with his sister. “My sister said, ‘You’re gonna be the best — like the top.’ And in Dominican jargon, when you say lapara it means you’re the top performers at something.”
Interesting Fact: He’s won the Silver Slugger Award three times for best offensive third baseman in 2017, 2018 and 2020.