Martin receives unorthodox birthday gift from teammates

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Leonys Martin’s mariachi band (The Seattle Times)

PEORIA, Ariz. — Having a birthday the same day as playing a baseball game can cause some players to have breakout games. When a player’s birthday is in spring training, however, and the games don’t matter too much, what is a team to do in order to celebrate their teammate?

Hire a mariachi band to follow him around, of course.

Outfielder Leonys Martin had his always-anticipated 29th birthday on March 6, and his coach Scott Servais and his teammates hired a mariachi band to follow him around and play music all day, all while Martin wore a giant sombrero.

“I just got in the clubhouse and they came in and started playing,” Martin told Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. “I didn’t know what was going on.”

Martin was forced to wear the sombrero the entire time the band followed and played music for him, including during fly-ball practice, fielding drills and in the batting cage. The band went everywhere he went, including on the field and warning track during the practice.

“It’s his birthday and the boys did something special for him,” outfielder Jarrod Dyson said. “I’ve never seen this in my career or ever. I think it’s something great to keep the guys loose on the field throughout practice. It’s just great overall, to celebrate his birthday on the field with us. It’s good to enjoy with your friends and teammates.”

— Ryan Signorino

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