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Cardinals shortstop Aledmys Diaz got two hits in the game on Wednesday but the biggest was the hit he made with the crowd at a charity event he attended afterwards. Diaz donated his time to come out and do a round-table sports discussion and meet with Cardinals fans at the Homewood Suites, Palm Beach Gardens as guest of Rob Rains and STLSportsPage.com raising funds for Rainbows for Kids in St. Louis and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Palm Beach.

Rains helped arrange the event sponsored by the Homewood Suites, Palm Beach Gardens location. Hotel General Manager Liz Oliver and Marketing and Sales Director Christie Netzel as well as their entire staff helped put on an amazing event. Oliver and Netzel have been sponsoring the charity event for the past five years.

Here are some pictures from the event and the baseball discussion on video. Diaz was a fan favorite that day.

VIDEO of Aledmys Diaz getting interviewed at charity event:

Click here for the video: https://www.youtube.com/edit?video_id=rQlTqHo4ves

The event is in its fifth year and gets bigger every year. 

We'd like to thank the Homewood Suites staff for all their hard work. (Top Row: ZV, Christie, Taylor, Liz, Trisha, Chase, Marcus; First Row: Mike Trim of WPTV in West Palm Beach, Aledmys Diaz, Rob Rains, Carmella of the Homewood Suites.)

Aledmys Diaz hit two doubles, drove in a run and scored twice  in the 9-3 win over the Nationals on Wednesday before the party. 

Mike Trim, a news anchor at the NBC affiliate, WPTV --who is from Hermann, Mo. and a big Cardinals fan himself--has been involved in the event for four of the five years it's taken place. He served as emcee and Rains weighed in during the interview. 

The fans were surprised at how candid the Cuban-born shortstop was during the interview. It is worth the time to watch the video to see how much it means to Diaz to be living in America and also how much he knows about and appreciates the great history of Cardinal baseball.

Rains has been following Diaz's career before most people knew about him and was there with him the day he signed with the Cardinals. To read more about that: http://www.stlsportspage.com/CARDINALSBASEBALL/tabid/91/entryid/1727/aledmys-diaz-is-convinced-he-made-right-decision-to-leave-cuba.aspx 

Any player who defects from Cuba – as at least 25 players have done since Aroldis Chapman in 2009 and others did before him – has to go through a process of establishing residency in another country since the United States does not have diplomatic relations with Cuba. The player then has to be cleared by Major League Baseball before they can sign a contract. As described in the above mentioned story, it took longer than that for Diaz, but judging from the comments he made during the charity fundraiser he is very glad he did it.

Diaz was featured in Rains' book "Taking Flight" and to read that chapter, click here: As Aledmys Diaz makes debut, read excerpt from his chapter in "Taking Flight" https://shar.es/1UCWoG

The charity event featured a silent auction with baseballs signed by many of the current players as well as a poster signed by Lou Brock, bats signed by Ozzie Smith and Don Mattingly plus many other items. Here is a picture of one area of the silent auction, which was set up in the Homewood Suites Lobby, just before most of the fans had arrived.

STLSportsPage.com and Rob Rains appreciate our sponsors who allow us to bring all the Cardinal information to you from Spring Training. We want to highlight our newest Spring Training sponsor: Kuna Foodservice

Kuna Foodservice is a family-owned business that has been serving the Midwest since 1918. They started out as a small family owned butcher shop, in south St. Louis, but now are the largest independent privately owned foodservice company and steak processor in the St. Louis area. . The focus on customer service, attention to detail and quality products paid rewards in customer loyalty and steady growth. The products have changed, as well as their reach but under the third generation leadership of Dan Bippen, Kuna is proud of their ability to compete, win, and retain business in today’s global economy. We appreciate them for coming on board as a sponsor.