Galvis said dad taught him 'everything'

Galvis said dad taught him 'everything'

Galvis said dad taught him 'everything'
PHILADELPHIA -- The highlight reel plays from the middle of the infield, the dazzling scoops and throws, the base hits; Freddy Galvis learned it all from his father.

Sunday is Father's Day, and Galvis acknowledges that he wouldn't be playing for the Phillies at the mere age of 22 if it weren't for his dad.

Galvis' father, Freddy Sr., coached him in their hometown of Punto Fijo, Venezuela, starting when the younger Galvis started playing baseball at the age of four, and ending when he signed with the Phillies as a 16-year-old.

"I have to say, for real, I'm here right now because of my dad," Galvis said before a recent game. "He [taught] me everything and gave me the strength to be able to play every day."

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Before Freddy suffered a back injury on a swing last week that could keep him out a considerable amount of time, he had been filling in nicely at second base for injured All-Star Chase Utley.

"I don't know where we would be without him," said general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. a couple weeks before Galvis' injury. "That's kind of strange to say, but think about it."

Galvis, who hit .226 with three home runs and 24 RBIs in 58 games, was especially impressive with his glove. Despite being a natural shortstop, he made it look as if he'd been playing second base for years.

Freddy Sr. was a second baseman, and at one point, he almost signed with a professional club in Venezuela. However, he suffered a career-ending knee injury while turning a double play when an opposing player slid into him.

When Freddy and his older brother, Irfred, started playing baseball as children, Freddy Sr. became their coach. Asked what his father taught him, he responded by simply saying, "Everything."

"He [taught] me most everything about baseball, you know," Freddy said. "How to react, how to hit, how to catch the ground balls, that kind of stuff. He [taught] me everything."

One of Freddy's favorite baseball memories involving his father came in the 2006 Senior League World Series, shortly before he signed with the Phillies. In an earlier playoff game, Freddy dislocated his shoulder, keeping him out of the championship. Or so Freddy Sr. thought.

"All right, you're not gonna play," Freddy's father told him. "Nothing. You're not gonna play. You're not gonna run. Nothing."

"OK," Freddy responded.

But with the team needing just one run to win, and his father sitting in the stands, Freddy told the coaches he wanted to pinch-run if someone got on base. After the leadoff hitter singled, he entered the game.

"[Freddy Sr.] started yelling, 'Where you going? What you doing?'" Freddy recalled with a smile. "That was kind of funny."

Freddy's father couldn't be mad for long, though, as his son came around to score the winning run.

"After the game, then we [were] happy cause we won the World Series with that run," Freddy said.

Freddy said he talks to his father, who is back home in Venezuela, three or four days a week, but the two are always texting. Not surprisingly, Freddy Sr. is really proud of his son, who is the only current Major Leaguer from his hometown.

"Everything I am right now, that's from my dad," Freddy said. "That's the truth."

Jake Kaplan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.