#MLBPlayers411: Happy Birthday, Steven Souza!

There aren't many better ways to celebrate your birthday than hitting two home runs in a winning cause like Steven Souza Jr. did on Sunday, helping the Rays defeat the Yankees, 8-1.

Interestingly, Souza's fence-clearing prowess would have come as a big surprise to those who only knew him as a high school freshman.

"I was little when I was growing up," Souza says.

In fact, the Rays' right fielder says he was only about 5-foot-2 and 140 pounds when he entered Cascade High School in Everett, Wash., but that he grew about four inches by his sophomore year on his way to developing his 6-foot-4, 225-pound big-league body.

"My uncle was in the military and he took me to work out every single day after school," Souza recalls. "He taught me how to lift and everything."

Souza was the first major leaguer to hit two homers on his birthday since the Twins' Trevor Plouffe in June 2012.


More about Souza from the #MLBPlayers411

  • Souza recently purchased a bow and plans to take up bow hunting after the 2016 season. He credits former teammate Adam LaRoche for helping him set up his bow and giving him some pointers.
  • Souza, who comes from a family that wasn't interested in sports, says Ken Griffey Jr. and the successful Mariners teams of the mid-'90s helped inspire him to play baseball.
  • He's big on hand-eye coordination drills.
  • His Twitter handle is @SouzaJr.