Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Miguel Tejada leader in Giants camp, known as nation's ballplayer in Dominican Republic

Miguel Tejada arrived in Giants camp last week and plans to lead Pablo Sandoval in daily workouts throughout the season, this according to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com.  Miguel recently worked out with Erick Aybar in the Dominican Republic throughout the off season, as both players are from Bani, DR.  He plans to play a similar mentor role with fellow Latin player Sandoval.
Tejada last year with the Orioles, by Keith Allison on Flickr
Tejada is perhaps the most popular Dominican player in his home country.  He is known as the "nation's ballplayer" and the "patriot player" because he has played virtually every off season in the Dominican Winter Baseball League (LIDOM) and made several Caribbean Series appearances with his longtime team, the Aguilas de Santiago.  He also maintains a home in the country, mentors younger Dominicans, and does lots of charity work in his home country.

He has garnered another nickname through his performance in winter campaigns.  He is known as "la guagua."  So, a guagua is a small bus that is used for public transportation around cities and between smaller cities in the Dominican Republic.  These guaguas are always overflowing with people squeezing on to them.  So, it is said that when Tejada plays, the stadium is like a guagua, overflowing with people.
Dominican "guagua," by Valentintv blog

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