Chicago Cubs: El Mago makes his appearance
My editor, Jacob Misener, headed to Cleveland for the week of All-Star festivities, including Tuesday’s Midsummer Classic. He sent our team a message saying Baez’ face was everywhere in the 216.
The boy from Puerto Rico who grew up devoted to the game, so much that he and his brothers had the MLB logo tattooed to themselves has finally arrived at superstardom during Cleveland’s All-Star break. Would you expect anything less from the poster boy of sunflower seeds?
Chicago Cubs fans have had their dose of superstars in the past, including Ryne Sandberg, Andre Dawson, Sammy Sosa and Ernie Banks. While most of these Cubs household names are quite familiar due to their hitting skills, Baez first became known for his tagging and work on the basepaths. In fact, his hitting was always criticized as fans often said Baez swung at too many outside or away pitches.
This kind of success didn’t happen overnight for Baez, moving from Puerto Rico to Florida when he was 12 years old. It was during the World Baseball Championships (WBC) in 2017 that Baez came to the attention of the world by making a catch and tag from WBC teammate and catcher Yadier Molina.
In the highlight reel, Baez is already pointing to Molina for a great throw, before he has even applied the tag on Nelson Cruz (playing for the Dominican Republic). Baez never even looks at Cruz the whole play, which ends up being a blind tag for an out. Fans could not get enough of Baez, who was about to show them how to ‘swim’.