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Kidsday reporters in the dugout with Gleyber Torres

Yankees player Gleyber Torres, center, with Kidsday reports

Yankees player Gleyber Torres, center, with Kidsday reports Andrew Galligan, Nicholas Cortese, Marcus Leston and Matthew Gavagan. Credit: Newsday / Pat Mullooly

Recently, we had the privilege of interviewing Gleyber Torres in the Yankee Stadium dugout before a home game. Gleyber is 22 years old, from Venezuela, and is the starting shortstop for the New York Yankees. He was selected to the 2018 All-Star roster, and currently has 38 home runs with 108 RBIs. He also hit the 265th home run that gave the Yankees the record for most long balls hit by a team in a single season.

We walked through the press entrance, took an elevator to the basement, and walked right by both teams’ locker rooms. We walked on the field and into the famous Yankee dugout, where we sat waiting for Gleyber Torres. When he arrived, we each asked him a few questions. At the time of the interview, Torres had hit 8 home runs over the span of 11 games.

We asked the Yankee slugger what advice he would give to anybody who wants to play in the major league, and he remarked to work hard and to keep fighting through any setbacks they face. When we asked him how difficult it was for him to move from his teammates in Chicago to New York, he said he knew it would be a change, but he understands that baseball is business.

When we asked if he could hear his fans yelling at him when he made a mistake, he said that he could clearly hear what they were yelling but he thought it was all part of the game. We asked if he had any pregame rituals, and he replied that he has a few including listening to certain songs. We asked him what the toughest thing about being so famous was and he responded that it was hard to go out to eat or enjoy something with his friends and family without immediately being recognized and asked to do something for them. We also asked him what his favorite food was from America, and he said that he likes a lot of the fast food places here. He said that one of his favorites is In-N-Out Burger. When we asked what his favorite food from Venezuela was, he responded that most of the customary foods there are delicious, but some of his favorites are arepas [typically a flat, round patty made of corn flour] and perico [scrambled eggs].

Gleyber said that the toughest pitcher he has faced in the majors is Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox because he throws very hard and knows what he is doing on the mound. When asked about his superstitions, he said it depends on his mood that day. He may wear his socks differently, he may or may not listen to music, and he may stand on the left or right side of the shower. When we asked if he had any friends in the major leagues that don’t play for the Yankees, he told us that he has made friends with players such as Felix Hernandez, Wilson Contreras, Eugenio Suarez, and Manny Machado. 

Gleyber said that he really thought he could play professional baseball when he was 14 years old. When asked what the most memorable thing that happened to him, Gleyber said with his first walk off homer run, last year against the Indians.

In 2018, Gleyber was on the RailRiders when he got the phone call that he was now playing in the majors for the New York Yankees. Gleyber said that he was happy and excited.

We also asked if Gleyber had a role model in the MLB, and he replied with Jason Giambi, a former power hitter for the Yankees, Colorado Rockies, Cleveland Indians, and most famously the Oakland Athletics. The Yankees, currently first place in the A.L. East at the time of posting, are a real powerhouse and Gleyber said that it is definitely very exciting to be a part of this young and talented squad.

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