12/18/2009 1:43 PM ET
Augie Ojeda: Reaching out to Latin fans
Utility infielder has found a home in the Southwest
One of the things I like most about playing for the Diamondbacks is that we have a lot of Hispanic fans here in Arizona. As a Mexican-American, it's great to see such a dedicated following.
I feel pride when they chant that song -- "Augie, Augie, Augie, Oy, Oy, Oy!" -- for me during the game. The last two years the fans have been chanting that song for me. It's always enjoyable to hear. It's a great feeling to have so many people chanting your name and supporting you.
I think my heritage helps me in terms of fan popularity among the Hispanic fan base. The most important part of how the fans view you is how you conduct yourself as a player and how you play the game. If you play hard, the fans are going to pull for you. The fans spend a lot of money on tickets to come and see you, so there's no reason you shouldn't go out and give everything you have on the field.
It's important for fans to be able to relate to players. With our large Hispanic fan base I'm in position to provide some sort of connection because of my background and my ability to speak Spanish. It's always enjoyable to see so many Mexican and Latin fans at the park.
Playing for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic last year was a dream come true. I wanted to play for Mexico in the '06 Classic but I wasn't invited. It made my family very happy when I put on the uniform for Team Mexico and represented the country.
In all, I've enjoyed all my time here in Arizona. Everyone here has been great to me, from the front office to the clubhouse. They gave me the opportunity to play, and I've made a great home for myself in Arizona.
Switch-hitting infielder Augie Ojeda, a veteran of eight big league seasons with three different teams, played in 103 games for the D-backs in 2009 and collected a career-high 65 hits. The 5-foot-9, 175-pounder, originally from Los Angeles, signed for another year with Arizona last week.