5 Interesting Facts About Ronald Acuña, Jr. That Make His Name Even Bigger
October 8, 2018
On October 7, Ronald Acuña, Jr. of the Atlanta Braves became the youngest player in baseball history to hit a postseason grand slam. In the second inning of the National League Division Series Game 3, Acuña faced fellow rookie and Los Angeles Dodgers starter, Walker Buehler, when he made his historic homer.
The Braves rookie surpassed the record age of 21 years and 350 days that had been held by New York Yankees’ Mickey Mantle since the 1953 World Series. Being 20 years and 293 days old, Acuña has just broken a 65-year-old world record.
More than his skill and youth, what more is there to know about the 20-year-old?
1| He made his MLB debut just on April 25, 2018
From minor league baseball, Acuña made his debut to the major leagues as the Atlanta Braves’ youngest player. Throughout his major league career, Acuña has proven himself as an asset by making legendary homers again and again.
On April 25, the Braves have yet to know the victories Acuña will give them as they tweeted, “Ronald Acuña Jr. makes his big-league debut tonight vs. the Reds! #ChopOn.”
Ronald Acuña Jr. makes his big-league debut tonight vs. the Reds! #ChopOn
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 25, 2018
2| He is a record-holder as the youngest player in a lot of titles
On August 13, in a doubleheader game against the Miami Marlins, Acuña made history as he became the fourth player to hit a home run in both games. He also hit home run four games before that which made him the youngest player to do so since 1920.
Just as of August 14, Acuña made six history-making homers. Stats.com summed it up in a tweet saying, “To summarize, Ronald Acuña, Jr. is the youngest player ever to…Homer twice on back-to-back days, Homer 8 times in an 8-game span, Homer 6 times in a 5-game span, Homer in 5 straight games, Homer to lead off 3 straight games, Hit 5 career leadoff homers.”
To summarize, Ronald Acuña Jr. is the youngest player ever to…
Homer twice on back-to-back days
Homer 8 times in an 8-game span
Homer 6 times in a 5-game span
Homer in 5 straight games
Homer to lead off 3 straight games
Hit 5 career leadoff homers#ChopOn https://t.co/nsLd3G45kZ
— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) August 15, 2018
3| He comes from a family of baseball players
Hailing from La Guaira, Venezuela, Acuña’s family is not a stranger to baseball. His grandfather, Romualdo Blanco and father, Ronald Acuña Sr. both have played in minor league baseball. Acuña Jr. is the eldest among four sons. His younger brother, Luisangel, also plays baseball.
Back in 1991, his uncle José Escobar was an MLB right-handed batter and shortstop for the Cleveland Indians. The Braves rookie also has cousins who played in the MLB, specifically Kansas City Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar, former Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitcher Kelvim Escobar, and former Arizona Diamondbacks pitchers Edwin Escobar and Vicente Campos.
4| He has two nicknames: El Abusador and Sabanero Soy
El Abusador translates in English as The Abuser. This nickname was dubbed to him by Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Starling Marte in 2016. It was given to the young Venezuelan because of how he used to pummel the baseball. It stuck ever since, and now he uses it in his social media accounts.
Back in May, Atlanta Braves tweeted, “According to an @espn article, Ronald Acuña Jr. earned the nickname ‘El Abusador’ in 2016 due to the way he ‘routinely pummeled the baseball.’ It stuck.”
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) May 3, 2018
The nickname Sabanero Soy was what Acuña used for the Major Leagues’ Players Weekend last August. The Players Weekend is when players wear colorful, non-traditional, youth sports-inspired uniforms with “fun” nicknames at the back of their jerseys while playing baseball.
Sabanero Soy in English is “I am Sabana.” According to a tweet by a Braves fan, La Sabana is Acuña’s hometown. By wearing Sabanero Soy on his back, he shows he is proud of where he came from.
This is La Sabana, Venezuela, hometown of Ronald Acuña, Jr. It is isolated by mountains so it's difficult to get to and from. A baseball field takes up about 10% of the entire town. Next weekend, Mr. Acuña will wear "SABANERO SOY" on his back, showing pride for his home town. pic.twitter.com/aNDLkcCFQS
— dren (@dren_braves) August 16, 2018
5| His favorite player growing up was Miguel Cabrera
Miguel Cabrera is currently the first baseman for the Detroit Tigers. Acuña admits that Cabrera was a big part of his journey to becoming the kind of player he is today. He even compared his sighting of Cabrera to “seeing the president.” In an interview with ESPN, he said:
“Each time I saw him play … I didn’t see him play here in the United States, but I saw him in Venezuela with the Aragua Tigers. It was really like seeing the president. Miguel Cabrera went to bat, and I would be there glued to my phone (recording and taking pictures). I always watched him play because I really liked the way he played. The easiness with which he hit. That really motivated me to be the way I am today.”
According to Acuña, he met and played with his idol during spring training. Cabrera even gave him some advice. He told the 20-year-old:
“Keep working hard. Stay humble. Stay working hard. Do what they tell you because they’re the ones that know.”
Ronald Acuña, Jr., with his short Major League experience, has become the youngest asset to the Atlanta Braves team. The 20-year-old rookie has gained a lot of recognition through his homers. If he continues to persevere exactly as he did in Game 3, the Braves might just win again in their next game.