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Gregorius returns to Curacao for offseason training

December 22, 2017

Didi Gregorius is coming off the best season of his MLB career, and the Yankees shortstop recently returned to his baseball roots in Curacao for offseason training.Gregorius' family moved to the Caribbean island when he was about 5 years old, and he went to the same high school as Angels

Didi Gregorius is coming off the best season of his MLB career, and the Yankees shortstop recently returned to his baseball roots in Curacao for offseason training.
Gregorius' family moved to the Caribbean island when he was about 5 years old, and he went to the same high school as Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons. Gregorius also played high-school baseball against Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop.
"The island's not big," Gregorius said, "so you run into everybody a lot."
It's truly a small world. In fact, Gregorius played second base in high school and Simmons was his double-play partner up the middle.
"We used to play with guys who were two or three years older than us," Gregorius said. "We won basically all the games."
Gregorius works out at a local gym where his mother used to be an instructor. He's been going there since he was 10.
"When I grew older, I just thought, 'Everything started here, so I might as well stay here,'" Gregorius said.
Gregorius also participates in baseball camps on the island, preparing the next generation of ballplayers and thinking back to his own youth in the process.
"When I was young, and I was in that position, you'd see the big leaguers or guys in the Minor Leagues try to help us, try to pass on the knowledge," Gregorius said. "Now, I'm in that position. It's always good to give back."

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.