Reds’ Elly De La Cruz goes viral after giving first press conference entirely in English

March 29, 2024

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Cincinnati Reds infielder Elly De La Cruz is starting off the 2024 MLB season on a high note. 

In an 8-2 win over the Washington Nationals, De La Cruz, 22, became the youngest Reds player to start on opening day since 2009. Just a day earlier, the young infielder made headlines for giving a press conference entirely in English. 

Elly De La Cruz slides

Elly De La Cruz of the Cincinnati Reds slides into third base during a game against the Washington Nationals at Great American Ball Park Thursday, March 28, 2024, in Cincinnati.  (Aaron Doster/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

“It’s so important to me because now you guys understand what I say,” De La Cruz, whose first language is Spanish, told reporters Wednesday. “It’s important to the fans to understand me and [for] me [to] understand the fans.” 

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De La Cruz, who used an interpreter during his rookie season last year, said he’s been gaining “confidence” through conversations with teammates.

“I put a lot of work on my English to talk with you guys, and I think I’m doing a good job,” he added with a smile.  

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And De La Cruz’s efforts have not gone unnoticed by his team. 

Elly De La Cruz at bat

Elly De La Cruz of the Cincinnati Reds bats during a game against the Washington Nationals at Great American Ball Park Thursday, March 28, 2024, in Cincinnati.  (Aaron Doster/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

“He’s incredibly thoughtful. He’s humble, the way he listens and learns. I mean, it’s amazing,” Reds manager David Bell said of De La Cruz Wednesday. 

“I can’t relate to that. The courage that that takes and the respect that he has, it’s just beyond anything I’ve had to deal with. It’s impressive, and we know that about Elly. But, for other people to see that, it’s nice because I want everyone to see everything I know about our players. And for Elly, that’s a good example of who he is.” 

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Elly De La Cruz runs to base

Elly De La Cruz of the Cincinnati Reds triples against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first inning at Dodger Stadium July 28, 2023, in Los Angeles.  (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Reds outfielder Nick Martini homered twice in the first opening-day start of his big league career, including a two-run homer in the second inning and a three-run drive in the third to help Cincinnati top Washington, 8-2. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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