A.J. Jimenez was trying to remain calm, saying that he knew his parents and girlfriend were doing OK in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria making landfall early Wednesday.
He just hadn’t heard from them all day.
“What hurts the most is I don’t know anything about my family,” Jimenez said. “I’ve been trying to call everybody, but no answer so far. I don’t know if they’re OK or if they need something. I want to be there with them. Hopefully everything is OK.”
Jimenez, a September call-up for the Texas Rangers, was keeping his phone nearby in case word came, but he knew that the electricity was out across the island and that phone towers had been knocked down. Finally, just before first pitch, he made contact brother and girlfriend.
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They were healthy and doing well, despite even though “there’s water everywhere,” he said.
First-base coach Hector Ortiz was in a similar situation. He hadn’t heard from his parents or sister as they rode out the storm. He had experience to fall back upon, as he remembers being unable to reach his family in 1989 as Hurricane Hugo hit Puerto Rico as a Category 3 storm.
Maria was a major Category 4 hurricane when it made landfall.
“We just had to wait,” he said.
Left-hander Alex Claudio hadn’t spoken to his family, but his wife, living in Arlington, reached Claudio’s father around 2 p.m. in Puerto Rico. Everyone was healthy, which was Claudio’s only concern.
He finally received a text message from his father, though well after he sent it.
“He wasn’t able to text because everyone was hiding in the bathroom because the wind was so strong,” Claudio said. “I’m calm because I know about my family and I know what’s happened. At the same time, I know some people lost everything.”
At least he knew much of the day. Jimenez was still awaiting word from his loved ones until finally hearing from them well after nightfall in Puerto Rico.
“Just one text or one phone call would make my day better,” Jimenez said.