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2010-08-16

Plácido Polanco feeling at home in Philadelphia

By Dave Carey for Infosurhoy.com – 16/08/2010

Native of Dominican Republic emerging as Phillies' top player.

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Dominican Republic native Plácido Polanco’s play has kept the Philadelphia Phillies in playoff contention. (Dilip Vishwana/Getty Images)

Dominican Republic native Plácido Polanco’s play has kept the Philadelphia Phillies in playoff contention. (Dilip Vishwana/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S.A. – POSTCARDS FROM THE U.S.A.

Plácido Polanco

From: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Height/Weight: 5-feet-10, 194 pounds

Birthday: October 10, 1975 (Age 34)

Sport: Baseball

Position: Third baseman

Team: Philadelphia Phillies

Contract: He signed a three-year, US$18 million deal in December of 2009. He is expected to make US$5.16 million this year.

What he’s been up to: Plácido Polanco has emerged as one of the game’s best third basemen. Plácido Polanco’s .319 batting average is the third-highest in the National League and he’s also added six home runs, 39 runs batted-in and 59 runs scored. His play has been a major reason why the Phillies (66-51) are in second place in the National League East Division, two games behind the Atlanta Braves (68-49). But Plácido Polanco’s contribution extends beyond what he does at the place, as he won the Gold Glove award for being the best defensive player at his position in the American League in 2007 and 2009, when he was with the Detroit Tigers. But Plácido Polanco signed a three-year deal with the Phillies before this season, joining a squad that has played in each of the past two World Series. Plácido Polanco led the Tigers to the World Series in 2006, when they lost to the Cardinals. “It's 10:30 (in the morning), and he's smelling of Flexall 454 because he's been in the weight room trying to get his back loose, trying to get ready to play that day,” former Tigers teammate Todd Jones told Winninginning.com. “He takes so much pride in playing as hard as he possibly can, every day. You can literally see it on his face. And after the game, when you get older, you have to stretch and ice and things like that. He does that, too. "He does everything he possibly can to get ready, every single game. That's what the skipper likes about him. That's what we all like about him.”

Off the field: Plácido Polanco became a U.S. citizen on July 9, 2008. Plácido Polanco and his wife, Lily, and daughter Aide Rose and son Ismael have endeared themselves to Philadelphia community. Plácido Polanco is an active member of Phillies Charities Inc., the team’s community service branch that has supported more than 150 charities and non-profit groups since 1994. The Phillies sponsorships include “Back to School Night,” which gives game tickets to students with good attendance, and “Adopt a School,” which provides educational supplies and player appearances for area schools. Phillies Charities works with Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Children's Seashore House, St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, Magee Rehabilitation Center, Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children and Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital. “I know the city and I know I have a lot of friends here,” Plácido Polanco told the NBC-10 TV in Philadelphia. “I can help the team, whatever it is. I know they have a very good chemistry in the clubhouse and I am not a bad guy.”

Did you know? Plácido Polanco is one of the toughest players in the Major Leagues. He often comes to the ball park hours before others to work out and loosen up his back. This season alone he has taken three cortisone shots – two in one sitting – to kill the pain of loose bone spurs in his elbow. This offseason he will undergo surgery, but until them will continue to fight through the pain to stay in the lineup and try to help Philadelphia win its third National League pennant in as may many years. “I think it is more important to get healthy and get back for the second half than just going to an All-Star Game and adding that to your career, or whatever,” Plácido Polanco told the Delaware County Daily Times. “The main focus here is to try to win and to make it to the playoffs.”

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