Detroit fans know him as a promising youngster with an abnormally-large neck, but Detroit outfielder Andy Dirks is currently viewed through a vastly different lens by baseball fans in the Dominican Republic. After collecting a pair of game-winning hits during his Leones del Escogido team's eventual path to the Caribbean Series Championship earlier this week, Dirks' transition to "Ondy-der", a clutch-hitting, fun-loving speedster, became complete.â†µ
Mobbed by fans for autographs and pictures like you'd expect to see with a famous pop star, Dirks has quite literally become a cult hero in a country where baseball players are often seen as larger than life individuals. Despite the language barrier, his humble nature and obvious team attitude has endeared him to locals.â†µ
"Andy Dirks could run for president right now," said Gary Ruby, pitching coach for Leones del Escogido.â†µ
By the time Dirks is back in a Tigers' uniform, he will not only be fresh from having a bevy of winter baseball under his belt, but he'll have more confidence and more fan support than he ever could have imagined.