CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Cleveland Indians star Carlos Santana penned an emotional letter to his fans about his life as a professional baseball player in Cleveland and his family values.
The letter was released Wednesday morning on MLB.com. He started by saying:
"I play for the Cleveland Indians, but I am also a father, a husband and a friend. I am more than a baseball player.
I'm Carlos Santana. This is my story. Cleveland is my city."
Santana describes how grateful he is to play in Cleveland because this is the organization that allowed him the opportunity to come from the Dominican Republic to play in the Major Leagues.
He goes on in the letter to explain his excitement for Opening Day, especially in Cleveland. The expectations are high for the Indians following last year's run in the playoffs, but Santana said the team embraces the challenge. He also said he wasn't disappointed after the loss to the Cubs because he felt like a champ just making it to that point in the season.
In the letter, Santana also writes about his love for his family and the community. Since the players are on the road so often, most players, especially Santana, enjoys being home when he has the opportunity.
As far as the community goes, he gave an example of how he connects to the community, including creating relationships with local police. "I remember lying down in my bed, and the next thing you know, they are sitting on chairs in my bedroom talking baseball and life. It's funny now. Me in bed holding my child and two armed officers in full uniform just chatting like it was something normal you do all of the time."
The star player has bonded with Niko Lanzarotta, a young Indians fan with cerebral palsy. The child once asked Santana if he could hit a home run for him. He told the boy only if he could have a hug from him. The boy gave Santana a hug, and he hit a home run that game.
"Slamtana" seems to love the city he plays in, and Cleveland certainly loves him back.