By Scoop Malinowski
STATUS: MLB outfielder from 1989-2007 for Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, Baltimore Orioles. Hit 609 career home runs and achieved a career batting average of .273.
CHILDHOOD HEROES: George Bell, Pedro Guerrero. Successful for me. I wanted to be like them…get to the Major Leagues to help my family.
NICKNAMES: The Panther. Mikey – I don’t know why. My grandmother gave it to me.
PRE-GAME FEELING: Think about preparing my mind. Be prepared so I have a good game. Win the game. Make things happen out there. Prepare my mind to be strong. Relaxing, thinking of what I can do. Think positive. If you think positive, it will happen.
FAVORITE MEAL: Rice and beans with a glass of orange juice.
FAVORITE MOVIES: Scarface, Independence Day.
MUSICAL TASTES: Merengue, rap.
GREATEST SPORTS MOMENT: Home run race with Mark McGwire (’98). Made me real happy to be a part of that.
MOST PAINFUL MOMENT: When I strike out five times in one game (vs. Reds in ’96). That’s the most bad day I could have in my life [smiles].
FAVORITE ATHLETES: Barry Bonds, Mario Lemieux, Deion Sanders, Mike Tyson – he’s the man!, Andre Agassi – tough. He plays with intensity to win.
INTERESTING FACT: A lot of people are scared to come talk to you sometimes because you’re a superstar baseball player. But I’m the type of guy, I get in bed every night, I do my job every day. I’m trying to be more nice with people. I’m trying to satisfy everybody. I’m not gonna satisfy everybody. But at least I do my best.
PEOPLE MOST ADMIRED: Anybody. Doesn’t matter who it is. Doesn’t have to be important, the class, the status. I don’t care. We’re all persons. We’re not different from anybody. I got lucky. God blessed me that I’m a baseball player. I am what I am right now. But I’m not gonna carry myself like a superstar. I’m a regular person that goes to different places, tries to be nice with people, and have a good time.
FAMILY: Wife, Sonia; four children.