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Dodger of the Month: Manny Ramirez

Written by Mark Lam

Dodgers_vs._Angeles_Spring_Training_006Manny Ramirez was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. From his early days, his life was filled with baseball; when he was 8 years old, his grandmother gave him his most prized possession: a Dodger jersey. He immigrated to New York City when he was 13, where he played baseball at George Washington High School.

Manny Ramirez landed in the major leagues after high school. Skipping the college level, Ramirez played with the Cleveland Indians from 1993-2000. In 2001 he began to play for the Boston Red Sox. He helped the Red Sox become World Champions in 2004 and even earned the World Series’ Most Valuable Player Award.  

Ramirez and the Red Sox won the World Series again in 2007 despite developing a fractured relationship with one another. Beginning in 2005, Ramirez was asking for a trade. In 2008 he was involved in a dugout shoving match with his then-teammate Kevin Youkilis and knocked down the team’s traveling secretary, Jack McCormick.  

When Ramirez was traded to the Dodgers in 2008 he told ESPN Deportes that “The Red Sox don’t deserve a player like (me.)”  With the Dodgers, Ramirez was awarded the National League Player of the Month in August 2008. After the 2008 season, Manny Ramirez signed a two-year, $45 million contract with Dodgers.  

On May 7, 2009 Ramirez was suspended from 50 games for violating Major League Baseball’s drug policy for taking human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a women’s fertility drug, used by steroid users to restart their body’s natural testosterone production. Ramirez was allegedly among the 104 major league players who tested positive for performing-enhancing drugs in the 2003 survey.  

In the 2010 season, Ramirez hit his 2,500th career base hit against the Florida Marlins.  On May 28th Manny Ramirez hit his 549th career home run to pass Mike Schmidt in 14th place on the all-time home run list.  

Ramirez has three sons: Manuelito “Manny” Ramirez, Manny Ramirez, Jr. and Lucas Ramirez. He lives with his family in Weston, Florida during the off-season.