FIBI Q&A with Puerto Rico's Fernando Gonzalez
Hometown: Arecido, Puerto Rico
Fernando Gonzalez’s favorite MLB player is one of Puerto Rico’s current stars, but he’s more than familiar with the island’s most famed star.
That’s because his father, also named Fernando, played for the Pirates in 1972, his rookie season and the final season of Roberto Clemente’s Hall of Fame career. The legendary Clemente died that winter while on a humanitarian mission.
The elder Fernando Gonzalez spent parts of six seasons in the major leagues from 1972-79, including four with the Pirates. Now the younger Gonzalez is playing in the Freeport International Baseball Invitational.
Is this your first time in Pittsburgh?
No. Well, Pittsburgh, yes. But I go to a lot of trips for baseball.
What’s the furthest you’ve ever gone?
I’ve gone to Arizona, the Dominican Republic, but the furthest was Cooperstown (N.Y.).
What do you think of Pittsburgh?
I like it. I like the parks. It’s pretty cool. The climate, I like a lot.
What’s your favorite place you’ve been to?
Miami. Because of the beaches, and when I went to Miami, we got to stay at Miami University.
What’s your favorite position?
I like mostly infield. Second baseman. I have good range, and I don’t have to make the hard throws.
Are you a better hitter or fielder?
What’s your favorite part about hitting?
I like to hit the fastball because when I hit it pretty good, I can get it deep.
What’s your favorite baseball team?
Who’s your favorite player?
Francisco Lindor (Cleveland Indians). He’s always smiling, and he plays the game good, and he looks so soft when he’s fielding. And Javier Baez (Chicago Cubs), too.
How does it feel to have a father who played in the majors?
It feels good because everybody who talks to me about him, and I know a lot of baseball thanks to him.
What’s your favorite part about Puerto Rico?
Do you go there a lot in the summer?
I like to go not in the summer because in the summer I’m always training, but I like to go when I’m let out from school, from the university. I’m in the university now. (I like) to swim and get stronger.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
To be very fast.
What’s the best gift you’ve received?
I think my infield glove (from) my father.
What’s your favorite food?
Pastas and pizza.
Who’s your role model?
I look up to Francisco Lindor, too.
Do you have any phobias?
Spiders. They look so creepy, and I don’t like it.
Are you a dog person or cat person?
Dog. I have a dog, a pit bull. His name is Tyson.
What’s your least favorite chore?
I don’t like washing the cars.
Do you like winter or summer?
What’s your favorite video game?
I like “Call of Duty,” but now I’m playing “Fortnite.” I play a couple hours a day.
On a scale of 1-10, how good are you at “Fortnite”?
I’d say 8.
Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Doug at email@example.com or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.