D-Braves' Baerga Jr. following in dad's footsteps

Baerga Jr. hoping to make his own mark on the diamond

By Eric Johnson - Sports Reporter

DANVILLE, Va. - Minor league baseball is all about getting better and winning. All the players share the same goal of making the majors and they all have talent. But, for one Danville Brave, he was born with the sport in his blood.

Carlos Baerga Jr. is the son of former 16-year MLB vet Carlos Baerga.

"It was normal (growing up) because, you know, as a baby you don't really appreciate everything you get when you're a baby," said Baerga Jr. 

"But, as I started maturing and growing up, I realized that I was blessed."

Baerga Jr grew up in Puerto Rico playing multiple sports, while his dad was creating a stellar career that included 2 Silver Slugger awards and three All-Star trips. He ended his career batting .292 and had over 1,500 hits. 

Getty Images

21 Aug 1999: Carlos Baerga #9 of the Cleveland Indians looks on during bating practice before the game against the Seattle Mariners at the Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington. The Indians defeated the Mariners 6-0. Mandatory Credit: Otto…

"My summer vacations were baseball fields. So, in Puerto Rico there was no vacation for me while he was playing in the Major Leagues," said Baerga Jr.

"But if you really think about it that's something awesome."

Getty Images

6 Apr 1998: Infielder Carlos Baerga of the New York Mets in action during a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Shea Stadium in Flushing, New York. The Pirates defeated the Mets 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Al Bello /Allsport

He attended the University of Northwestern Ohio where he had a batting average of .339, with more than 100 hits and 67 RBI's. 

Baerga Jr. explained, "At the beginning, it was kind of nervous because all the eyes were on you every time, you like, stepped on a field or did something. Like, everyone would hold you accountable."

Despite having some big cleats to fill, Baerga Jr. says the one thing that he and his dad have to come to appreciate over the years is the fact that they are two totally different players. Which makes it easier for him to be his own man on the diamond.

"I kind of always was the underdog I would say and I would work my way to, like, the starting positions and all that stuff. So, I think since I always have to do that, and work very hard to get where I am or where I was, I think I got used to it," said Baerga Jr.

As Baerga Jr. starts his own professional career with the Braves organization, he does so with confidence knowing that -- like his dad -- he too can step to the plate and make his own mark.

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