Andy Santana: From the Dominican Republic to Beaver Falls
Senior business major Andy Santana contributes to the baseball field by manning the second-third base gap and providing star hitting power, but he also brings an international perspective.
Originally from the Dominican Republic, Santana grew up in the city of San Pedro de Macoris. As a boy he learned “America’s favorite past-time” from his father.
The game is hugely popular in his home Caribbean country. Eighty-nine Dominicans are currently playing in the MLB, making the Dominican Republic the most represented foreign nation.
“[The] Dominican Republic [was] a very poor area and a very poor country … I can say that baseball [was] a way for me to stay out of trouble. Then, it just became my passion,” said Santana.
His mother was the first in his family to arrive in the U.S., settling in Anaheim, California. Her stay paved the way for Santana to make his own move to the U.S. at the age of 16.
Santana played for Desert Christian his junior and senior year of high school. During his junior year, he batted a smoking .424 with a total of 22 steals. He planned to attend a Christian college that was fairly similar to his secondary education.
A pastor from the area recommended Santana to Alan Sumner, the head coach of Geneva’s baseball team.
“I feel really blessed that we found Andy. It was kind of a God thing that we found him,” said Coach Sumner. “It’s been a great experience having him here. He’s a wonderful guy, a great competitor. He’s worked really hard his four years here, and I think there’s been tremendous growth with him and his playing ability and who he is as a person.”
Santana has only played one position his entire life—short-stop. This year alone, Santana has already collected season totals of 52 assists and 9 double plays on the field with a fielding percentage of .889.
Batting third in the lineup with an average of .315, Santana has tallied 11 runs to go along with 17 hits overall and 7 recorded RBI this season.
At the Washington and Jefferson home game, Santana recorded a game high of 6 total bases and 5 hits, doubling in the seventh inning with singles in the first, third, fifth and eighth innings. The team went on to win the game, 9-4.
When talking about his teammates, Santana could not help but exude his appreciation for them. “I love them to death … They’re like my brothers.”
Coach Sumner expressed admiration for the senior’s leadership skills on the field. “His intensity that he brings to the field [and] his desire to always try to achieve excellence are what I think the other guys rally around … as well as try to match [him].”
After his last semester here at Geneva College, Santana plans to pursue a career in marketing and sales.