ANAHEIM -- The fact Domingo Santana was traded to the Astros three years ago came with a certain amount of irony, considering his father, also named Domingo Santana, was signed by the Astros as a teenager by legendary scout Julio Linares, referred to by Latin players as "El Capitan."
Santana's father's career, which began as outfielder and ended as a pitcher, didn't quite work out as well as that of his son, who was called up by the Astros earlier this week. He's one of the team's top prospects and started in right field Friday night against the Angels.
"After he got released and stuff, he went back to St. Thomas [U.S. Virgin Islands] where he had a sister and he just stayed there," Santana said of his father. "He got me a visa so I could go over there and get a better life and so I could learn English."
Santana, who was born in the Dominican Republic, spent much of his childhood in St. Thomas, beginning with kindergarten and ending after his first year of high school. It was at that point he quit school and went back to the Dominican to begin working out at the Phillies' academy there.
His mother, Aida Maria Caraballo Santana, lives in Yonkers, N.Y., and Domingo also spent a few months living there shortly after he signed with Philadelphia. His mother is currently in Anaheim watching the Astros play the Angels.
"All my brothers and sisters are from St. Thomas, and I know a lot of people there are cheering for me in St. Thomas, and that's really cool," he said. "It's a nice place. It's like the Dominican in that it's an island and you get to see a lot of beaches and stuff and it's very cool. The beaches are fantastic. Everything is beautiful out there."