WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA – May 16, 2022. Sal Icaza –The acquisition of veteran right-hander Erasmo Ramirez, who is now in his eleventh season in the Majors, just may turn out to be the most underrated move by the Washington Nationals this past offseason.  Although signed to a minor league contract for 2022 by the Nationals, it didn’t take long for Nats’ management to realize that Ramirez’s veteran presence and influence were urgently needed in the struggling bullpen. Consequently, Ramirez was called up almost immediately.  

Credit: Sal Icaza

Known for having a great club-house presence and being a respected team-mate, the soft-spoken and humble Ramirez leads by his exemplary work ethic and positive attitude.

While his leadership may have been one of the reasons that Ramirez was called up, in MLB, a player is called up and stays based on performance and merits.  Ramirez is no exception.  His arm is electrifying and lively, more so than in the past, while staying in command of his pitches and painting the plate for strikes like a true artist. Coming off in relief, he is boasting an ERA of 1.93, allowing only one walk in eleven appearances.  “I am attacking the plate without fear, with confidence,” mentioned Ramirez as the key to this year’s success.  “If the opposing team is going to score, they are going to have to earn it” continued Ramirez.

Ramirez, a native and proud Nicaraguan, whose early childhood hood was spent training in the neighboring Central American country of El Salvador, is starting to gain traction with the El Salvadoran fans in the DMV.  “We’ve never had a Major leaguer come out of El Salvador, and, he is partially a product of El Salvador, so we’ll claim him” mentioned John Moreno, a National fan of El Salvadoran descent. “As a baseball fan, this is exciting, and we cannot wait to go see him pitch again,” added Moreno.  “The Nationals should have El Salvador or Central America night at the stadium to celebrate this remarkable achievement. I mean, you know, we pack the soccer stadiums in D.C..” concluded Moreno.  And who could blame Moreno for saying that? After all, it is estimated that nearly a quarter of a million El Salvadorans live throughout the DMV.

 “I left Nicaragua for El Salvador with the help from the legendary Puerto Rican Moises Santiago who would occasionally travel to Nicaragua to give clinics and donate baseball equipment. I was twelve years old when he first saw my sister and I playing around in Nicaragua.  Mr. Santiago must have seen something that he liked because when I was thirteen, he began giving me instruction.  Mr. Santiago contacted a low-keyed, yet influential Mr. Renes Gallo in El Salvador, who in turn, contacted FESA (Foundation Educating Salvadorans) owner Jorge Bahaia.  Mr. Bahaia offered me a scholarship when I was fifteen. It was then, at a young age that I left everything behind and moved to El Salvador for school and baseball.” reminisced a grateful Ramirez.  “El Salvador will always have a special place for me.  That’s where I was giving my first opportunity, that’s where I cut my teeth in baseball” continued Ramirez.  

AN International BASEBALL Journeyman

“Leaving home for the first time at such an early age was the most difficult journey of my life.  But I was determined to succeed.  My mom would visit me once a month making the trip to and from Nicaragua on bus because we didn’t have the money to travel on plane.  I duly noted her sacrifice, and that motivated me even more,” said Ramirez.  

That motivation, determination, and the numerous sacrifices finally came to fruition two years after arriving in El Salvador.  In 2007 at the age of seventeen, Ramirez signed with the Seattle Mariners organization.  

Ramirez made his MLB debut in 2012 with the Mariners. Since then, he has played for the Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, and Detroit Tigers with stints in their minor leagues, which include the Venezuelan Summer League. 

Ramirez has accumulated a record of W-33 and L-44 with an ERA 4.32 in the majors.  He has appeared in close to 250 games, 92 which he has started.

a Hero in NICARAGUA and El Salvador

One of Nicaragua’s most renowned and respected journalists, Carlos Alfaro Leon, who also hosts the very popular show El Show de Carlos Alfaro Leon on YouTube every evening, a must-watch for sports aficionados, said it best “Ramirez is the epidemy of perseverance.  Ramirez never gives up.  He’s a man of gigantic character.  Ramirez may go under the radar, but those that know him, appreciate him.  He tunes out the nay-sayers.  He is a competitor and always prepared.”

dubbed the “eraser”

Ramirez’s Nationals’ stats are impressive this far with 1.93 ERA coming from the bullpen, only allowing one walk appearing in twelve games.  Most importantly “El Borrador” or “The Eraser” in Spanish, appears confident and poised to lead by example.

The Nationals, In a rebuilding year filled with growing pains, Erasmo Ramirez is giving National’s fans something to cheer about; some optimism.  And given Ramirez’s healthy and lively arm, competitive nature, character, and leadership, the Eraser can pitch at a high level for many years to come.  This journeyman may have found a home with the Washington Nationals.

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