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Johan Santana
Johan Santana on May 5, 2012.jpg
Santana with the Mets in 2012
Pitcher
Born: March 13, 1979 (1979-03-13) (age 41)
Tovar, Mérida, Venezuela
Batted: Left Threw: Left
debut
April 3, 2000, for the Minnesota Twins
Last appearance
August 17, 2012, for the New York Mets
MLB statistics
Win–loss record 139–78
Earned run average 3.20
Strikeouts 1,988
Teams
Career highlights and awards
  • All-Star (2005–2007, 2009)
  • 2× AL Cy Young Award (2004, 2006)
  • Triple Crown (2006)
  • Gold Glove Award (2007)
  • MLB wins leader (2006)
  • 3× ERA leader (2004, 2006, 2008)
  • 3× AL strikeout leader (2004–2006)
  • Pitched a no-hitter on June 1, 2012

Johan Alexander Santana Araque (born March 13, 1979) is a Venezuelan former professional baseball starting pitcher. Santana pitched in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Minnesota Twins from 2000 to 2007 and for the New York Mets from 2008 to 2012, sidelined by injury challenges since the 2012 season. A two-time Cy Young Award winner with the Twins, Santana is a four-time All-Star and earned a pitching triple crown in 2006. On June 1, 2012, Santana threw a no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals, which is to date the only no-hitter in New York Mets history.

Professional career

Santana radio600
Santana 2006

Santana was discovered in 1994 by Andres Reiner, who was a scout working for the Houston Astros at the time. Santana's parents agreed to let him attend Houston's academy in Valencia. When O’Brien called Reiner and asked if he had signed Santana to a contract, Reiner reported that he was still deciding if Santana was a better prospect as an outfielder or a pitcher.

After six weeks of training, Santana was told he was going to pitch. Santana did not like it and almost left, but Reiner convinced him to stay. While originally a center fielder, Santana was converted to a pitcher at the academy due to his arm speed. In 1999 he was named the Tovar Mérida Athlete of the Year.

Personal life

Johan Santana on February 27, 2010
Johan Santana 2010

As a child playing in Little League, Santana wanted to play shortstop until coaches told him he couldn't play shortstop because he was a lefty. He then taught himself to throw right-handed so he could play shortstop.

He attended Liceo Jose Nucete Sardi High School, where he played center field. He and his wife, Yasmile, whom he has known since he was nine years old, have two daughters and a son. Santana missed the New York Mets' 2009 first regular season game at Citi Field due to the birth of his son. He and his family reside in the Miromar Lakes community in Estero, Florida in Lee County.

In 2006, he started The Johan Santana Foundation to provide assistance to hospitals and bought new gloves and bats for children in surrounding areas. Also in 2006, Santana, as well as the Minnesota Twins, purchased a yellow firetruck for Tovar's fire department.

Santana has held a party the past two off seasons called El Cy Youngazo (the Great Cy Young) which includes a toy drive and musical groups. Proceeds from Johan's charity wine, Santana's Select, also support his foundation in entirety.

In 2012, the Johan Santana Foundation expanded their efforts to reach the Hispanic community of New York by contributing to Tuesday's Children, an organization that has made a commitment to families impacted by 9/11, First Responders and their families, and most recently, individuals who have lost loved ones to terrorism around the world.

Johan contributed $10,000 dollars, matched with $10,000 by the Mets through the New York Mets Foundation, to expand Tuesday's Children programming to include more resources for Spanish-speaking individuals and families impacted by 9/11.

In the off-season, Santana uses Florida Gulf Coast University's baseball facility for some of his conditioning work. Santana was elected to the Twins Hall of Fame in 2018, with a ceremony to be held on August 4.

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