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Perez surprised with special visit from father

PHOENIX -- D-backs reliever Oliver Perez thought he was going into the press conference room at Chase Field just to speak with the Spanish-speaking media before Friday's 4-2 win over the Padres.

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It turned out to be much more than that for the veteran left-hander.

Perez sat down and answered a few questions pertaining to baseball. Then came a question about Perez's father.

While Perez was answering, out from the door behind him came Perez's father, Ismael Perez Ruiz -- a surprise visit organized by the D-backs in honor of Father's Day.

Perez quickly got up, gave his father a hug and kiss on the cheek, and offered him a seat next to him for the remainder of the press conference.

"First of all, I'm really happy to see him," Perez said. "I feel that way, I'm just happy to see him."

Several other members of Perez's family were there for the surprise visit, including his mother, Maria Elena Martinez Beltran, who Perez also invited up to the table to sit with him and his father for the end of the press conference.

Perez is from Culiacan, Mexico. He began his professional baseball career when he was signed by the Padres as an amateur free agent in 1999. Perez, 33, is in his second year with the D-backs and the 13th season of his career, during which he has played for five teams.

Perez said he has a great relationship with his father and appreciates the opportunity his family gave him to live out his dream of playing baseball.

"We try to talk about everything and about life and baseball. Sometimes he tells me, 'Why'd you throw a slider? Why didn't you throw a fastball?'" Perez said. "I'm blessed."

Jake Rill is an associate reporter for
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