Play before work: Jimenez always has time to fit baseball into his schedule

Published 5:59 pm Tuesday, July 19, 2022

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Everybody has some sort of pre-work routine.

It may include a quick walk, a bowl of cereal, or catching up on the local news.

On certain weeknights during the summer, Nestor Jimenez’s pre-work routine includes playing about six innings of baseball for the Austin Greyhounds. Jimenez, who works nights at Hormel, will wake up, get to Marcusen Park and catch for about six innings before he heads over to work. It’s a routine he’s mastered as he loves to be near the ballpark for any amount of time.

The Greyhounds Nestor Jimenez barrels down to first base against Dodge County Friday night in Marcusen Park. Eric Johnson/

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“I don’t mind getting a little bit late to work on game nights and it kind of wakes me up,” Jimenez said. “I sleep during the day and then I work at night.”

Once Jimenez gets to work, he follows the Hounds’ progress through text messages from his teammates so he can find out if they win or not.

Jimenez, who is originally from Barquisimeta, Venezuela, played college baseball at Riverland Community College and Waldorf College, where he hit .322 with two homers and 20 RBIs during his senior season in 2018.

“I was contemplating going to some place with warmer weather, however I had the opportunity to work for Hormel and I’ve been working for them for a while now,” Jimenez. “I get to work with some good people and I see (Hounds manager) Joe Ciola at work. I see him on the field and away from the field and that’s really cool.”

It was baseball that brought Jimenez to Austin to begin with and it was work that brought him back. He’s grown to love the community and he’s even brought his sister and mother to town to live with him.

“When I first came to town, the hardest part was learning to speak English,” Jimenez said. “I felt really welcomed in this community and I feel like I belong to Austin now. Being able to play baseball for the Austin Greyhounds every summer is something I’m passionate about. I love this game, and I love being around these amazing guys in the summer.”

Jimenez originally played for the Austin Blue Sox in the summers, but he’s fit in well with the Hounds over the past few years.

“At first I was a little shy, but it’s great to be with the Greyhounds and see the impact they have on the community,” Jimenez said.”We all have a life outside of work, but we try to make it work perfectly here.”