Meet Miguel ‘Cata’ Diaz
Dedication. It is a word commonly thrown around in the world of sports but it’s definition can hold many different meanings depending on whom it is referring to.
For Miguel ‘Cata’ Diaz, dedication is almost four hours of traveling — by boat and three different buses — to be with his team three times a week for practices at the Empresas Polar headquarters. His ‘commute’ begins long after his day has already started. Cata is a fisherman, helping his father provide for his mother and younger sister, their days typically starting as early as 4 a.m.
“We have a really tough situation back home,” he said. “That’s why I want to keep following my dream to help them, to be a better person so they don’t have to suffer with all the money issues.”
His family is his #1 priority, baseball a close second. But it’s that commitment to his family that pushes him on the baseball field, the hope that he might one day be able to provide them all by playing the sport he loves.
“I make that kind of effort because I’ve been playing baseball since I was eight years-old and this has been my dream,” he said. “I want to be a professional baseball player so that encourages me every single day.”
The Venezuelan RBI program has played a major role in Cata’s development as a player. With his managers guidance, he was moved from catcher to pitcher, a new role he is thriving in. But his managers’ roles in his life aren’t limited to baseball fundamentals.
“They help me to be a better person,” he explained. “They gave me the opportunity to go to the Dominican Republic and now being here in the United States. Now I just can’t wait for it to be my first game so I can start pitching and do my thing.”
Cata and his Venezuelan senior teammates take on Houston during their first game Thursday, followed by an evening matchup against Detroit. The pitcher is excited to showcase his talent and hopefully bring a World Series trophy back to Venezuela, all of these opportunities ideally leading him down a path to play for his dream team, the Boston Red Sox.