Kenji-Alexander Ramírez was born last spring. His proud father, Alex Ramírez, will pilot the Yokohama DeNA BayStars this coming season. Rami-chan was a legend. His career was tremendous, and the accolades deserved, but there was also a certain poetry in moments big and small. Of course, his 2,000 hit in NPB was a home run. Why celebrate at first base?
When a great ballplayer adds to the family, it’s natural to be excited and think about what may happen in the future. After all, he isn’t just the newest part of a family at home. Kenji-kun has hundreds of older brothers, uncles, and aunts in his immediate baseball family, and thousands more around the world.
We can easily imagine the little fella growing into bigger and bigger uniforms and caps. If daddy keeps managing for a living, perhaps the clubhouse will be a second home. He could share enthusiastic high fives with the team after an exciting win, or a simple kind word to someone after a tough loss. In time, he may be carefully crafting rosin bags, or hanging fresh uniforms in long row of lockers. It’s fun to trace the steps along the road of a potential baseball lifer.
Hi everyone, I’d like to introduce my Son Kenji-Alexander Ramirez to all of you! Kenji-kun is Down syndrome😇😇😍 pic.twitter.com/RRxQ4t97Zf
— Alex Ramírez (@Ramichan3) January 4, 2016
For every Casey Candaele born to a Helen Callaghan, or David born to a Diego Seguí, there are a million children of ballplayers who never play baseball for a living. Like so many kids, Kenji-kun will probably not grow up to have 400 foot power, but his impact could still reach far beyond the upper deck.
Yes, it’s unfair to have expectations. He is just a little kid. At the same time, he is the youngest son of a global ambassador for the game. Imagine a generation of ballplayers learning from Kenji. By being himself, he can inspire others to be themselves. By being part of a winning clubhouse, he could show without a doubt that everyone has something to offer. He might open more eyes. He may change more hearts.
It’s a lot of pressure to put on an adorable little sprout, but this kid has immense potential, and an 80 grade grin.
Yakyu Night Owl is a writer from the Pacific Northwest who enjoys baseball across a big ocean.