The Marlins’ Jose Reyes is among 15 of baseball’s top stars featured in “Sports Illustrated Kids’ Pro Files: Baseball.”
The 96-page hardcover book is intended to introduce readers age 8-12 to some of baseball’s top players and provide tips on how to play like them. It went on sale earlier this month for $17.95, but was available at Amazon.com for $12.92.
Reyes, the Marlins’ shortstop, discusses his routine to prepare for each game, including massage, stretching and work in the batting cages. He also reveals his nickname: La Melaza, sweetness in Spanish. Readers also learn of his affinity for fried chicken and beans, and that the athlete he most admired as a kid was Hall of Fame pitcher Juan Marichal.
In addition to Reyes, “Pro Files: Baseball” offers statistics and bios on Justin Verlander, Joe Mauer, Evan Longoria, Albert Pujols, Roy Halladay, Joey Votto, Josh Hamilton, Dustin Pedroia, Brian McCann and other major league All-Stars. The book is packed with color photos to help illustrate skills and drills to show young players how to hit, pitch and field like the pros.
Each profile is loaded with information about the player’s background and career as well as personal info and insights into his approach to the game.
Reyes says the key to being a good base runner is “Run hard right out of the box and don’t hesitate at all. When you’re running, if you don’t think you’re going to make it [safely], you’re probably not going to make it. For me, 99.9 percent of the time, I know I’m going to make it.”
The action photos of Reyes show him as a Met, but there is a shot of him in a Miami Marlins jersey before he had the dreadlocks cut off.
He reveals his biggest on-field thrill is hitting a triple: “It’s fun hearing the crowd get louder and louder as you round each base, and nothing feels better than sliding headfirst into third base with the crowd cheering and seeing the umpire say you’re safe.”