Borderland recently got a taste of the major leagues when Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Alex Verdugo stopped by.
Verdugo spent much of the time visiting his grandparents, Don and Judy Potter, who live here in the Falls.
“It’s somewhere I don’t get to visit very often, but every time I do come up here I have the time of my life,” he said. “I love the snow. I’m from Arizona so we get a lot of heat there, so it’s always nice to get a refresher and get out here.”
Verdugo also said he likes coming up north to get a breath of fresh air.
“Your air quality here is so much better than in LA,” he said.
Verdugo was drafted in the second round of the 2014 MLB draft by the Dodgers, playing in the minor leagues and making sporadic appearances in the majors.
Verdugo made his full-time major debut when he was announced as part of the Dodger’s opening day roster for the 2019 season.
In the 2019 season he recorded a .294 batting average along with 12 home runs and 44 RBI before being placed on the injured list in August.
“It’s like a dream come true,” he said. “As a baseball fan growing up it’s something you dream about.”
During his time in the Falls, Verdugo spoke with Falls Elementary and High School students along with the Rainy River Community College baseball team, where his brother Chris played.
“With the younger kids I talked about how important their education is and staying focused,” he said. “For the college, I talked about the process and what it takes to get into the big leagues. It’s not easy but it’s not impossible.”
Verdugo said he plans on making the most of the rest of his time in Borderland, doing the things he enjoys most.
“During the winter I love to ice fish,” he said. “My grandpa has a little fish house so that makes it very comfortable. I also like to plow the snow. I guess it’s because I’m from Arizona. There are certain things you get out here that you don’t get anywhere else and I have really come to love it up here.”
During his trip to the Falls, Verdugo was part of a trade involving the Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox, though the trade was not made official as of press time.