When he first got to America at age 17, many things were difficult--none more so than the language barrier.
"Sometimes I'd go back to my room alone and feel sad," Ramirez said.
He was picked up by fellow Domincans who came to America with him. Miguel Tejada was at the same baseball academy in D.R. and Ramirez counts the star shortstop as a close friend today.
Ramirez also remembers the golden opportunity he has playing baseball in America, coming from a such a poor home country. "You're doing this for your family, for you. It's your dream. You just have to keep moving along," he said.
Once he learned that he could play baseball professionally, Ramirez says he dismissed any notion of school. He doesn't want the next generation of Dominican children to learn the same lesson. "I tell them you have to go to school. It's hard learning a new language."
Ramirez originally signed with the Tigers. He was a can't miss prospect. His first major league hit was a home run. "Awesome," he says. "I still have the video and the ball and everything,".
He's now playing for his third organization and his major league prospects are less bright, though far from completely extinguished. Still, nothing will wipe the smile from his face. "Baseball is fun," he said. "I thank God I can wear this uniform. Some people think the game is boring, but I don't. I try to have fun in every aspect. You have to find ways to have fun."