Durability & Defense Aren’t Only What Galan’s About

Yoandry Galan has started all 20 games this season. Photo courtesy of gojaspers.com.
Yoandry Galan has started all 20 games this season. Photo courtesy of gojaspers.com.

In Yoandry Galan’s near four year professional baseball career, he’s played an average of 55 games a year in a 60 game season.

His durability to play nearly every game should remind any baseball fan of when Hall of Famer and former Baltimore Orioles’ shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. broke the 56 year record of consecutive games played with 2,131.

“He has played every day from the time he walked in here, long before I got here…,” Manhattan College baseball Head Coach Jim Duffy said. “His consistency and his effort that he brings on a daily basis, and his talent level and his baseball IQ are all really tough to match.”

Galan had a handful of individual successes in his four years at Florida Christian high school under Head Coach Ernie Padron. His best year came during his senior year when he hit to a .400 batting average with two homeruns and 15 stolen bases, was named to the Second Team All-Dade County and won the team’s Gold Glove award for committing only two errors in 29 games at third base.

As a freshman at MC he started 50 games out of 52 appearances committing only four errors at second base – a team best .982 fielding percentage.

As a sophomore he was named to the All-MAAC First Team, only one of two players on the team to start all 60 games – graduate Anthony Vega being the other player – and he only committed 13 errors between his first 10 games of the season at second base and his remaining 50 games at shortstop. As a junior he played in 52 games.

“He’s one of the better defenders in the league, if not this region,” Duffy said.

MC first baseman Vin Teixeira took what Duffy said a step further.

“He is one of the best baseball players I’ve ever known,” Teixeira said. “He always knows where to be and what to do with the ball, and to go along with his natural abilities defensively.”

Galan said his secret to staying healthy and being able to play every day is playing through pain. He admits to having played through pain every year.

Anyone who claims to be 100 percent the whole season is lying.

“My parents coming from a different country [Cuba] it was hard at first. My dad was working doubles never giving up,” Galan said. “He’s probably the hardest working man I know. It taught me to work hard on the field, but I mean it’s something I took from the outside and brought it to the baseball field.”

Galan lived in Cuba until he was three years old when he moved to Miami. The only thing he remembered from Cuba was baseball.

And ever since he was 4 years old, he hasn’t stopped playing the game he couldn’t seem to forget.

Baseball doesn’t completely define Galan’s life. He also does many other things both indoors and outdoors. Living in Florida, Galan loves to fish and play basketball.

Teixeira said Galan’s true personality shows whenever he plays FIFA.

“He’s one of the best FIFA players in the world,” Teixeira said.

Galan is a competitive person, Teixeira said. Teixeira added that he had beaten Galan at a game of FIFA recently and he was not too happy about it.

Galan’s personality translates to the field as a quiet leader. They said when it comes to leadership qualities, he leads by example and that he isn’t the type of guy who’s going to yell and scream in somebody’s face.

Although they said he is the type of guy that is going to pull a freshman or an underclassman aside and tell him what they did wrong, how to get better and what to correct to be successful.

This being Galan’s last year as a college baseball player he’s both looking to make the most of his time left on the field and to leave a lasting mark on the program. Duffy thinks he has already accomplished the latter.

“He’s put a stamp to this program at the position that he has played,” Duffy said.