No quit: San Diego's Ramirez signs to play baseball at A&M-Kingsville
San Diego senior Brandon Ramirez could have easily given up playing baseball when adversity struck his family in the summer.
Ramirez lost his grandfather to COVID-19 in July, and his grandmother was in a coma for three months after contracting the virus around the same time.
"My whole family had my back the whole time and I kept pushing," Ramirez said. "I learned to never take anything for granted. Everything you have can be gone tomorrow."
Ramirez began preparations for his senior season after his grandmother was released from the hospital.
The 17-year-old outfielder/pitcher said he will be dedicating his final season with the Vaqueros to his late grandfather.
“For the young ones out there, the road is going to be bumpy," Ramirez said. "But it’s a road you have to be willing to take if you’re determined.”
Ramirez's love for the game started when he was 3, and it carried over into high school at San Diego.
Ramirez also plays football and runs track, but his passion for baseball can't be matched.
His dedication to the sport was rewarded when he signed a letter of intent to play Division II baseball at Texas A&M-Kingsville on Wednesday.
Ramirez, a four-year starter for the Vaqueros, made his signing official in front of family, friends and coaches at San Diego High School.
"It's a dream come true," said Ramirez, who plans to play outfield with the Javelinas. "I hope I can be a role model for my little brother and all his friends. I hope they look up to me and see what I’ve accomplished."
The loss of his grandfather hit the family hard, but calling it quits isn't a common occurrence in the Ramirez household.
Ramirez plans to make the most of his senior season before following the footsteps of other family members who have received educations in Kingsville.
Ramirez' father, sister and brother have all earned degrees from the University.
“It’s a family tradition," Ramirez said. "Texas A&M Kingsville is a really good school and they have a good baseball program."
Ramirez is excited to begin the next chapter of his life but right now, he hopes to put together a playoff run with the rest of his San Diego teammates.
Ramirez is hoping the team can make a deep playoff run in his final season. The Vaqueros have reached the area round each of his first three seasons.
“I'm looking forward to having fun in my last year," Ramirez said. "Hopefully we can go past the second round. Last year we would have had a good run, but unfortunately with COVID-19 we had to cut the season."
Ramirez joins teammate Sergio Guerra as members of the Vaqueros to sign at the collegiate level.
Guerra signed to play baseball at Division I UTGRV on Nov. 11.
“Sergio is one of the top prospects, and I haven't told him this before but I've always wanted to be as good as him," Ramirez said. "He’s that one player that’s pushed me to do better. To see how well he's doing is what drives me to be better."