BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Baseball is a global sport, played in nearly every culture. So when Jesus Feliciano came to the United States from Puerto Rico, he learned the game was the same, but the language was much different.
"To tell you the truth, I didn't learn any english," said Feliciano about his first year playing in college. "You learn the language talking and not being afraid to not say things right."
Feliciano picked up english, and his bat, in a career that spanned more than 15 years with professional organizations. He made it to the major league in 2010 with the New York Mets. Now, he's with the Hawks for his first season as a hitting coach.
"I think I was a great teammate and I could help a lot of guys," Feliciano said. "I felt it was going to be my job after my playing time."
From the batting cages, to the clubhouse, Feliciano is relied on for more than just hitting advice.
"Jesus is ready at any time when I need him to translate." manager Gary Van Tol said. "A lot of these kids are hearing english for the first time and it's a big adjustment coming from a different country where they don't know anything."
Boise is an early stop for a lot of players drafted by the Chicago Cubs. Currently, eight of 30 players on the roster come from spanish-speaking countries. The Hawks do offer english classes for these players.