April 2019 Features

For the Love of Family & Baseball

Baseball season is now in full swing, including for our Arizona Diamondbacks. The players are hitting the field and for many of them, it means taking time away from their families.

Right Fielder, Steven Souza Jr. is among those players who have a wife and child watching from the stands. This season however, will be a little different after a season-ending injury in an exhibition game right before the regular season. Souza Jr. will now face a different battle off the field- one of recovery and rehabilitation.

Souza Jr., who has only been in Arizona for a little while, says he and his family have been enjoying all the Grand Canyon State has to offer. “We love the food here, we love the people here, and we’ve just adjusted really well.” Souza Jr. adds that the warmer winter months have also been a nice treat, being able to jump in a pool, and play around outside as a family.

Souza Jr. and his wife Mikaela were married in 2015 and they welcomed their son Micah in 2016. They

Photo by Monica Bradburn/Arizona Diamondbacks

spend a lot of time together as a family, celebrating and enjoying all the valley has to offer. “We take our son to the Splash at Kierland Commons a lot, he loves it. Anywhere we can get in the water, like the Lazy River at the Westin Kierland, another one of our favorites.” Other than spending time at water areas, the Souza family also just likes spending time around their home, playing and just enjoying each others company.

Souza Jr. says there is a lot of activity for him and Micah around the home. They play a lot of hide-and-go-seek, running around playing chase and other fun activities. But that is not all according to Souza Jr., “We play a lot with cars, and even though I’m at the field a lot, I do my best to try and take advantage of our time together as much as possible. Mornings are pretty precious to me. I get up with him, eat breakfast with him, watch cartoons, play cars, run around and in the summer get in the pool as much as possible.“

Souza Jr. and his family also like to spend time with his teammates off the field.  “We get our kids together as much as we can. Robbie (Ray) and I get our kids together a lot, Nick (Ahmed) as well. We try to spend time with family a lot. Last year was with Goldy, AJ (Pollock) and Daniel (Descalso), we tried to create events and bring all the kids together as they all have similar unique lifestyles.”

For Souza Jr., his baseball family is nearly as important to him as his wife and son. Dinner together while training and on the road, something they try to do as much as possible. The team also hangs out and bonds away from the field. “Baseball is something we do but we are also people and it is important to build those relationships as well because that is a key to winning on the field.”

Life is busy now for sure for the Souza Jr. family and it is about to get a lot busier! “I pray that we have three kids, Lord willing. We have one on the way here in a few weeks, so that is going to be a life changer.” With the additional member coming into the fold, Souza Jr. says sharing his passion for baseball with his kids is vital. “I would like my son to be able to come to the park, hangout with me and see what I do on a daily basis. He’s only two right now, I don’t think he gets it yet, but five years from now, I’d love to see him come out to the field and understand what I’ve done, what the Lord has brought me through and let him enjoy the experience.”

When asked if Souza Jr. wants his kids to follow in his footsteps on the side of athletics, he says, “I think sports are really good for kids so we’re definitely going to put him in sports. I’m however not going to force him to be something he is not. If he doesn’t like baseball, then so be it. But I think with sports, there’s so much that comes along with it, learning to work well with others, adhere to authority, follow directions and show up in a timely manner.”

Souza Jr. admits he wouldn’t be where he is without his wife, Mikaela. “She is amazing. I wouldn’t be able to do this whole journey without her and her personality. She is a go-with-the-flow personality and anyway she can take the stress off me, is unbelievable. She does such an amazing job at home with our son.”

Souza Jr. will miss this season with the Diamondbacks after tearing the ACL, LCL, PCL and posterior lateral capsule in his left knee. He will spend time recovering from surgery and rehabilitating to get ready for next season. He will be able to do this all at his valley home, thanks to the support and love from his friends and family.

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