Victoria Harbourcats add famed name to roster with Manny Ramirez Jr.

Victoria Harbourcats add famed name to roster with Manny Ramirez Jr.

It’s a rare thing to land a marquee name in summer baseball, but the Victoria Harbourcats have netted one of the biggest.

“It’s kind of a unicorn at this level to have a guy that’s a recognizable name right from the beginning,” says Harbourcats managing partner Jim Swanson.

Thursday morning, Manny Ramirez Jr. was introduced as the newest member of the Victoria Harbourcats. The 21-year old is an outfielder with East LA College, and son of former MLB superstar slugger Manny Ramirez.

While the 6’3″, 200-pound right fielder is cranking out home runs in the college ranks, it’s the name that jumps out just as fast as his tape-measure shots, and that’s just fine with Junior.

“It’s beautiful,” says Ramirez from his Los Angeles training facility. “When everybody knows who you are it adds some pressure, but I have a sense of how to deal with it and I use it as fuel. Every time I step in the box I can hear everybody chirping and saying my name. It feels amazing and it makes me feel locked-in in my at-bat, and makes me a better player. Pressure is a privilege.”

It’s not only Manny Jr. joining the Harbourcats, younger brother Lucas Ramirez is making the trip as well.

Lucas will play right field and wear number 99, while Manny will man left field wearing the number 24 his dad made famous with the Boston Red Sox.

Lucas has committed to the University of Tennessee and will play next season with the Volunteers.

“The level he’s at is incredible,” says Manny Jr.

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The connection between the Ramirez family and the Harbourcats is Alec Adame. The former Harbourcats pitching coach is now Manny Jr.’s coach at East LA College.

Prior to this, he’d never heard of Victoria.

“I love baseball, and whatever my dad tells me, I say yes. Even though I don’t know where I’m going,” says a smiling Manny Jr.

The Ramirez family has secured a lease on a home near downtown Victoria, and Manny Sr. will be a familiar face at Royal Athletic Park this summer. With his trademark long dreadlocks and beard, he’s hardly inconspicuous at the ballpark. In short, Manny is still Manny.

Swanson says the Ramirez family is looking forward to Victoria’s restaurants and scenery, and says they’ve made no special requests. “No green M&Ms or anything like that. Manny Ramirez is instantly recognizable in a major American city. It’s not like LA or Boston, he might be able to hide a little bit here.”

As for what he’s looking forward to this summer away from the ballpark, the younger Manny’s response was quick. “I love fishing. My brother loves to fish too.”

But it’s the Harbourcats who have netted some big ones.

Jordan CunninghamJordan Cunningham

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