Imagine devoting a lifetime’s worth of blood sweat and tears working to play baseball in the Major Leagues, just to make one mistake that some people will remember you by.
Adolis Garcia doesn’t have to imagine.
Last September in the midst of a playoff race, in a game against the Brewers, Garcia was rounding third – representing the tying run in the eighth inning – and took a tumble before being tagged out between third and home.
That’s not how any player wants to be remembered, and Adolis Garcia knows that. He has used the baserunning error to push himself going forward.
“I haven’t tried to let things in the past, instead learning of what happened and I think that has given me more motivation for giving it all this 2019,” Adolis Garcia told STLSportsCentral this past winter.
If his stats in 2019 are any indication, he has definitely used that mistake on the basepaths as motivation. He is slashing .240/.306/.513 in Memphis this year. The slugging and on-base percentage are up this year from 2018, and he’s already hit 11 home-runs in 42 games — he hit 22 in 112 games last year.
The 26-year-old outfielder said the biggest difference between playing baseball in his home country of Cuba and the United States is, “The way to focus on work with respect to the game.”
He made his MLB debut in 2018, and when asked about who he shared the exciting news with first, he said, “The first person I told was my wife, but my teammates knew also because they gave me the news at the stadium.”
Many players have made treacherous trips to the United States from Cuba to get a chance to play baseball in the MLB. Most namely, the late Jose Fernandez, who rescued his mother that fell overboard during the tumultuous voyage.
The Cuba native was asked if his trip to America was difficult. He responded, saying “No, thanks to God I made all my trips by plane.”
Adolis Garcia is determined to turn the page on his baserunning gaffe, and he’s already well on his way.