Ramírez with the Chicago White Sox
|Chicago White Sox – No. 10|
September 22, 1981 |
Pinar del Río, Cuba
|March 31, 2008 for the Chicago White Sox|
(through September 9, 2015)
|Runs batted in||537|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Competitor for Cuba|
|Baseball World Cup|
|Central American and Caribbean Games|
|Pan American Games|
|2007 Rio de Janeiro||Team|
Alexei Fernando Ramírez Rodriguez (born September 22, 1981) is a Cuban professional baseball shortstop for the Chicago White Sox of Major League Baseball (MLB). His nickname, given to him by former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillén, is "The Cuban Missile" due to his tall, slim physique and combination of speed, power, and strong throwing arm. Ramirez has also filled in at second base for the White Sox.
In seven years of baseball in the Cuban National Series, Ramírez spent most of his time playing shortstop and outfield for Pinar del Rio. He had a batting average of .335 in Cuba, and led the league in 2007 with 20 home runs while posting a .338 average. Ramírez played center field for Cuba at the 2006 World Baseball Classic, collecting 6 hits in 16 at-bats and impressing US scouts in the process. He hits and throws right-handed.
Chicago White Sox
In September 2007, Ramírez left Cuba to apply for citizenship in the Dominican Republic, and also apply to Major League Baseball to enter free agency, according to his agent, Jaime Torres. He auditioned for many baseball teams before coming to an agreement on a four-year contract with the Chicago White Sox on December 21, 2007.
During Ramírez's first season in the Majors, he excelled both offensively and in the field, despite playing second base instead of his customary shortstop position. Ramírez finished in second place in the voting for American League Rookie of the Year honors, losing to Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Alexei hit his first major league home run on May 16, 2008 versus the San Francisco Giants off Billy Sadler. He led the major leagues in grand slam home runs in 2008, with four, and also swung at 59% of all pitches he saw for the season, also the most in the majors.
Ramirez fielded a ground ball for the final out of Mark Buehrle's July 23, 2009 perfect game. Ken Harrelson, the White Sox play-by-play announcer, made the call, exclaiming "Alexei! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! History!" as he completed the play.
Ramirez was announced to his first All-Star game at the 2014 MLB All-Star Game along with teammates Chris Sale and fellow countrymen José Abreu. He replaced Derek Jeter in the field in what was previously announced to be the Yankee star's final MLB season.
Grand slam record
On September 19, 2008, Ramírez hit his third grand slam of the season off of pitcher Brian Bannister of the Kansas City Royals in a 6–4 White Sox win, tying an American League rookie record set by Shane Spencer of the New York Yankees in 1998. It was the White Sox's eleventh grand slam of the season, equaling the previous club record from 2006.
On September 29, 2008, Ramírez hit his fourth grand slam of the season, setting a major-league single-season record for a rookie, off of Detroit Tigers pitcher Gary Glover in an 8–2 Sox victory to qualify the Sox for a one-game tiebreaker against the Minnesota Twins for the AL Central title. This also broke the team record for most grand slams in a single season.
- July 22, 2008 vs. Texas Rangers (Pitcher: Dustin Nippert)
- August 17, 2008 at Oakland Athletics (Pitcher: Dan Meyer)
- September 19, 2008 at Kansas City Royals (Pitcher: Brian Bannister)
- September 29, 2008 vs. Detroit Tigers (Pitcher: Gary Glover)
- April 25, 2009 vs. Toronto Blue Jays (Pitcher: Shawn Camp)
- May 9, 2014 vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (Pitcher: Brandon McCarthy)
- 2008 Major League Baseball PH/HR/Situational Hitting
- "Two descriptions of historic perfection, '09 Harrelson vs. '65 Scully". Chicago Tribune. 2009-07-23. Retrieved 2010-07-21.
- Ramirez cracks first career grand slam while Buehrle handles Rangers in win. ESPN.com. Retrieved August 18, 2012.
- Ramirez's grand slam, Wise's two homers power White Sox past Royals. ESPN.com. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
- "Grand Slam Records". Baseball Almanac. 2008-09-29. Archived from the original on 28 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-29.
- Ramirez's grand slam paves way as White Sox force tiebreaker with Twins. ESPN.com. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
- Ramirez pounds out five RBIs as White Sox cruise by Jays. ESPN.com. Retrieved August 18, 2012.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Cuban Baseball Career statistics