January 2017 Partner SportsDog Award: Dirt Dawg Sports
SportsDog Value: Grit
Award Winner: Alex Santiago
Previous Winner: Team Esface Basketball
Alex Santiago’s baseball resume is quite long.
- Catcher of the 1982 Puerto Rico Big League Team World Champions
- 18 years in the Puerto Rico Semi Pro Baseball League
- Three Puerto Rican Semi-Pro Championships (1989-’91)
- Eight All Star Selections
- Manager, Puerto Rico National Big League Team
- Manager of the Year, 2009
- Silver Medal w/Women’s National Team in 2009 Pan-American Baseball Tournament
- Inducted to Carolina (his hometown) Hall of Fame of Sports in 2013
- Inducted to Puerto Rico Semi-Pro Baseball League Hall of Fame in 2009
- Oldest Son of Former Red Sox Great Jose Santiago
Since 2012, Alex has been manager, instructor, and trainer of Dirt Dawgs Sports. He also serves as the program’s Information Officer.
Based out of Canton, Massachusetts, Dirt Dawg Sports is a premier baseball and softball training facility offering year-round indoor and outdoor top-notch professional baseball and softball instruction. Their mission is to work with all players to instill, cultivate, and nurture the love and passion that they have for the game.
“Dirt Dawgs is like a family,” Alex said. “You’re not just another customer. You’re treated like family. We are an all year round facility so you’re always welcome. We offer soccer, softball, we sponsor a cricket team. So everyone is welcome.”
Alex moved from Puerto Rico to the Boston area four years ago. He has been involved with all levels of baseball since he was eight years old. He even began his managerial career at the age of twelve while he was playing on the Puerto Rican teams.
He also comes from a great baseball family.
“I don’t like to brag about it, but if I don’t mention it my father will be mad. I am the oldest son of former Red Sox pitcher Jose Santiago, who pitched the first game of the World Series versus St Louis Cardinals’ Bob Gibson and lost 2-1 that game. The only run for the Red Sox was a homerun he hit over the Green Monster.”
In 2012, he took advantage of the opportunity to continue a career in baseball at the youth level. What started as a trainer and coaching position evolved into taking over duties as the program’s information officer.
“We were doing a lot of things manually. And almost everything was done separately. So, I tried to consolidate everything.”
With his background as a website designer and a “lit bit of programming,” Alex gave a lot of his time to install account packages such as QuickBooks and analyze several Excel spreadsheets.
“When I ran into LeagueApps and saw the product for the first time, I was really, really satisfied. It eliminated so much manual stuff we were doing like a lot of paperwork, a lot of forms, and spreadsheets,” he said.
“We weren’t even collecting any payments online.” All registrations were done on paper.
Within two months, all of the Dirt Dawgs’ 21 club teams were conducting 100% of their transactions online. His efforts to deliver the best service possible to his clients and the Dirt Dawgs family is just but one reason why he is held in such high regard.
It’s with that grit, determination, effort, and hard work that Alex is able to deliver amazing experiences to his program’s players, parents, and members.
“Alex is the best! Not only does he spend his time training young baseball players, but he is always looking for new ways to take advantage of all the features offered. He even answered my call and got in front of a computer with me while he was on his vacation,” Launch Manager Stephanie Vera said.
He believes in having an open line of communication with all of his players and members of the Dirt Dawg family. Parents around the Boston area flock to Alex and the Dirt Dawgs so that their kids will become better players and more importantly, better people.
Alex lives by the advice he gives to all sports organizers and anyone who has a drive to succeed in their youth sports business.
“You have to comply on what you offer to your clients.”
Thanks to Alex’s grit and determination, he and the amazing staff of Dirt Dawg Sports are geared for a wildly successful 2017 of delivering excellent service and experiences to their clients.