Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Carlos Gomez is known for his unique style of play. Like many players born in Latin America, to make it out is an opportunity to support their family financially.
As a 14-year-old, Gomez found a very unusual way to support his family living in the Dominican Republic while he worked to draw the eye of MLB scouts.
In an interview with Jeff Passan on the Yahoo! Sports MLB Podcast, Gomez revealed growing up he would build coffins to make money for his family.
Carlos Gomez: “I spent some time too, building like, I don’t know how to say it in English, when the people die”
Jeff Passan: “Coffin? You built coffins?”
Gomez: “Yeah, I built them for like two years.”
Passan: “How old were you when you were building coffins?”
Gomez: “Like 14”
Gomez, who grew up in Santiago, Dominican Republic, would sign with the New York Mets as an international free agent in July 2002. Between playing baseball and going to school, Gomez worked as a carpenter in his neighborhood until the Mets brought him over to the U.S. to play baseball as a 16-year-old.
According to Spotrac, the veteran outfielder has now earned over $40 million across his 12-year career in the majors.
Now 32, Gomez goes on to share other details of his life, his thoughts on baseball’s PED testing, bat flipping and more.