My name is Robinson Cano. I live in Seattle, and I love it here.
That wasn't the case right away when I signed with the Mariners in December 2013. I'm from the Dominican Republic and spent the first nine years of my career in New York, and Seattle seemed about as far away from those places as any city in baseball.
My first year, it was a little tough. I was new in the city, which means you have to learn how to get to the field, where to eat, where to shop -- everything was new for me.
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But the fans embraced me from my first day. My teammates, everybody; they made it easier for me. They understood I came from New York and decided to come here. The way they have treated me, they understand that I love to do stuff with the community. The people here are so nice. They've been so nice to me.
I feel like I'm at home now.
I love giving back to the community. I've been doing things to help people back home in the Dominican and in New York for many years, so it made sense for me to do the same here in Seattle. My RC22 Foundation held its first fundraiser in Seattle two summers ago, and the support we got from the community was special. We're doing another event in July, and I can't wait for it.
Although playing baseball is my biggest passion, the help my foundation has been able to provide people over the years makes me very proud.
I had a friend back home that was in an accident, and he died because we didn't have an ambulance. I decided to start my foundation, and since then, we've saved a lot of lives. I hear from people back home that the ambulances have done a great job. That's something that you want to hear. It makes me really proud when somebody comes and says, "Thank you." We've helped people in a lot of different ways. When you save a life or you help somebody and they come to you and say "Thank you," when you see the result later, that' something that makes me proud.
Do you know what else makes me proud? Mariners fans. I always loved playing in New York, where the Yankees fans expect a winning team every year. Seattle hasn't had a winner in a long time, but the fans here support us with great passion. As a player, that's something I appreciate.
The best part of the fans in Seattle is the way they support the team, knowing that we haven't won in a long time, we haven't been in the playoffs. As a player, you want to go out every day for those fans and give it everything you've got.
When I first got here, I saw how the fans supported the Seahawks. The year before last year, the way they supported the Sounders, because they were winning, then last year they won the championship and they were so supportive. I would love to see if we start winning and get to the playoffs, how crazy the stadium is going to be.
It would mean a lot to me because I'm here. I love this game so much, and now I love this city just as much. A lot of people made it seem like I came here for the money, but I love the game, I have so much passion for the game and I love to win. That's one of the best things in this game: to be able to go to the playoffs and be able to win a championship.
My teammates and our fans make Seattle feel like home, but there's one person that makes me love being here more than anybody else: my daughter, Galia.
When she was born in January, it impacted my life a lot. I wasn't there all the time for my son, Robinson, because I was playing in New York and he lived in the Dominican. Having my daughter here, seeing how she's growing every single day, to hear her trying to talk or walk, that's something that has really changed my life.
The best part is always that you have another part of your heart. I see her every single day, and that's my motivation. When I go 0-for-5 or 0-for-4, I go back home and to be able to see her, it makes me forget about everything.
When you play this game, you're not just playing for yourself and your fans. You also play for a name you have to represent. You have a family that's hoping you do good every single day.
And when you don't, they're there for you anyway. So are the people in Seattle, which would make anybody feel at home.