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Rapid Fire With Nellie Cruz

Editor's note: Blake got with Nelson during his rehab to ask him about playing with Vlad Guerrero, life as a Ranger, and his earlier days.

Blake Perryman - When did you start playing baseball? What other sports did you play growing up? 
Nelson Cruz - Basketball. I played it growing up and didn’t start playing baseball until I turned 15 or 16.

BP - Who did you most look up to as a young player? 
NC - Griffey and Vladdy. It’s really cool to be around Vladdy now and play with him day to day.

BP - How is Vlad’s mom’s cooking? 
NC - It’s really good. She’s always there at every game and makes food for both teams on game days.

BP - Coolest thing about being in the all-star game last year? 
NC - I enjoy being around all of the guys. It’s really cool to be able to talk to guys like Jeter and Ichiro.

BP - Pitcher you least like to face? 
NC - Mariano. He’s got a nasty cutter. You can see it, but it’s still impossible to hit.

BP - Who are the biggest jokesters on the team? 
NC - Elvis and CJ.

BP - Biggest trash talker on the team? 
NC - Elvis.

BP - Favorite guy to play with?
NC - Hamilton.

BP - Slowest guy on the team?
NC - Julio [Borbon].

BP - So you could beat him in a race, right?
NC - Yeah, definitely.

BP - Since we recently finished the draft, what advice would you give to all of the newly drafted players? 
NC - Being on time is very important. You have to work on a daily basis, but don’t try to do it all in one day.

BP - What have you done differently the past few years to gain consistent success at the Major League level? 
NC - I’ve gotten to know the league and the pitchers more, and recognizing the pitches people throw at me. I’ve also improved my approach.

BP - What is your favorite thing about the game of baseball? 
NC - It’s very motivating to play in front of fans, and I like the reaction I get from crowds.

BP - Tell me about the opportunity Mastercard is offering Ranger’s fans.
NC - Mastercard is promoting a gift card to win tickets to go to the World Series. You just go to any DFW area Walgreen's and register. You can also win $2500 and a chance to see me play in Arlington.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.