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Major league baseball pitcher Johan Alexander Santana was born 13 March 1979 in Tovar, Venezuela. His father, Jesus, played semi-professional baseball as a short stop. His main profession was an engineer. The first time Johan Santana tried out for youth baseball, the coach told him he was dressed inappropriately and sent him home. The next day when Johan returned, he was wearing his father's baseball jersey and his coach knew who Jesus Santana was and treated Johan better after that.
As a teen, Johan Santana played center field for the local team, the Chiquilines. Professional baseball scouts did attend Chiquiline games and Johan was soon pursued by the Houston Astros and the Colorado Rockies. Both teams ended up offering Santana the opportunity to join their clubs and Johan signed on with the Houston Astros at the age of sixteen in 1995. The next year, the seventeen year old Santana was playing in the Astro's Dominican Summer League team as a relief pitcher.
At age eighteen, Johan Santana received a promotion to Houston's Gulf Coast League and then played in the New York-Penn league in 1998 for the Auburn Doubledays in 1998. In the 1998 season Johan won seven games and had a total of eighty-eight strike outs in eighty-seven innings. Santana played in a Class A Midwest league in 1999, but his teammate, Aaron McNeal, received the last spot on the Houston Astros team.
Revenge was sweet when, after being selected by the Minnesota Twins, Johan's first major league win was against the Houston Astros. He is said to have framed the scorecard from that game and hung it on a wall in his parent's home. Johan Santana developed a reputation as a talented pitcher and became especially known for his slowball.
Santana won the American League Cy Young Award in 2004 and 2006. He also won the American League Gold Glove Award in 2007. In early 2008, Johan Santana was traded to the New York Mets. The Yankees and the Red Sox also wanted him. Johan has a wife, Yasmile, and two daughters, Jasmily and Jasmine.
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