SAN PERLITA — A lot of positive words can be said about San Perlita’s Daniel Garza, but one specific aspect of his character has been talked about over and over again: His work ethic.
Daniel is the personification of hard work.
As a sophomore he was named to the 32-2A all-district second team and as a junior he was the league’s Defensive MVP. And now, as a senior, he is the first athlete in San Perlita history to sign a letter of intent to play baseball at the next level.
And those are just his baseball accolades. In basketball he also was an all-district second team selection both his junior and senior seasons, while also grabbing an honorable mention during his sophomore season.
But as San Perlita head baseball coach Marco Mungia reiterated, it’s the work that he puts in that sets him apart from everyone else.
“Daniel is different than any other player I’ve worked with because he goes outside the normal time and keeps working,” said Mungia. “There’s a saying that if you want to be great at something then you’re not going to get it all within the hour or two hours of practice at school. It’s the outside hours that count and that’s what Daniel does.
“He puts in a lot of work outside of school, whether it’s working on his catching at Alejandro Martinez Academy or in the select ball teams. He just tries to get in as much baseball as he can. His knowledge of the game is next level and so is his work ethic.”
The Valley Morning Star had an opportunity to talk to Garza and ask him a few questions.
Q: How does it feel knowing you are the first person in San Perlita’s history to sign a baseball scholarship?
A: It’s pretty cool knowing I am the first one to go play college baseball. I hope that others can see that it is possible that playing college sports can come from small schools also.
Q: What was it about Iowa Wesleyan University that made you decide to go there?
A: When I met some of the players, I felt I would fit right in. It is also a small campus, so I felt at home.
Q: You’ve gone to camps around the country. What was your best experience?
A: Over Christmas break I went to the International Power Showcase in Miami. While I was there I got to meet and play with people from all over the globe. It was a great experience.
Q: This is your senior season. What are you going to miss most after graduation?
A: Playing with some of my best friends.
Q: How did you start playing baseball and when did you realize you wanted to play at the college level?
A: When I was about 7 years old I started playing baseball at the local YMCA in Pearland. When I started training with Alejandro Martinez (Academy) in Combes, I realized that I had the potential to play at the next level.
Q: What the toughest aspect about being a catcher?
A: The hardest aspect of being a catcher is calling the game and doing my best to talk to the blues (umpires) about a missed call, or doing my best to lead my team to victory.
Q: As an athlete, what was the best advice you were ever given?
A: When I was in Miami, I was talking to the scout from the Miami Marlins and he told me not to worry about my size and just let my talent do the talking.
Q: If you had a time machine, where would you go?
A: I’d go back in time to play with Babe Ruth of the New York Yankees.
Q: You live in Port Mansfield. What is the best thing about it and the worst?
A: The best thing about Port Mansfield is that it is where my friends and family are. The worst thing is there isn’t that much to do but fish and it’s so far from everything else.