PHOENIX -- David Peralta is known by his D-backs teammates as someone who is quick with a smile -- a bundle of positive energy both on and off the field.There is one subject, though, that tears at Peralta and wipes the smile right off his face -- the turmoil and
PHOENIX -- David Peralta is known by his D-backs teammates as someone who is quick with a smile -- a bundle of positive energy both on and off the field.
There is one subject, though, that tears at Peralta and wipes the smile right off his face -- the turmoil and suffering that is going on in his native Venezuela -- and he is determined to do something about it.
"I talked to the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation about seeing if there was some way we could help Venezuela," Peralta said. "It's a harsh situation over there right now. I'm not getting involved in politics, I care about the people. I want them to have medicine and food. I have family over there. I have my sister, my cousins, my little niece and I hear from them and I see on social media that it's hard to go to the hospital, or find medicine.
"It breaks my heart, because it could be my family."
The D-backs, who this year are celebrating $50 million in community giving since the franchise's beginning, quickly stepped up to help set Peralta up with some relief agencies such as the International Red Cross.
They are also partnering with Peralta in sending the first batch of medicine to his hometown of Valencia. Soon, the organization will help Peralta raise more funds, including providing a way for fans to donate.
"The Diamondbacks have been great," Peralta said. "We're going to start with Valencia and we're going to find out what the clinics there need. We can get medicine here, but we want to find a way to get the specific medicines that they need."
Peralta knows there is so much more that needs to be done, but he hopes that if he and fellow Major Leaguers from Venezuela all do whatever they can, that it will at least begin to make a difference.
"I feel like I have to do something," Peralta said. "I wish I could help all of Venezuela, but we have to start somewhere. We're going to do this step by step. We know we're not going to change Venezuela in one day, but we're going to start and try and do our part. I like to help people because people helped me all my life and my parents raised me to help people in need if I at all can."
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.