Segura almost quit baseball after the 2014 death of his 9-month-old son. But with some help from Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano, Segura got through the darkest period of his life and now is happily married with a son and another boy on the way.
All Jean Segura can do when he thinks about Juan Diego is smile.
Mere mention of his 2-year-old son serves as an instant pick-me-up for the shortstop.
Doesn’t matter if the Mariners lost, or if he went 0 for 4 with an error — one look at his boy’s face will melt the angst away.
That’s called happiness, and it’s a feeling Segura experiences daily.
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It’s also a feeling he thought he might never experience again.
“I almost quit baseball,” said the 27-year-old who recently signed a five-year, $70 million extension. “I was dead out there on the field.”
Flash back to July 2014, when Segura was playing for Milwaukee. The Brewers had just lost a game to the Cardinals when Segura’s mother called a teammate’s wife with some news. The wife got ahold of her husband, who then got word to Jean.
Segura’s 9-month-old son, Janniel, had died in the Dominican Republic.
Segura preferred not to go into the specifics of what happened, revealing only that Janniel had grown ill a few days before passing. But he was placed on the bereavement list immediately and flew home to bury his son.
The next 18 months were the darkest of his life, as balls and strikes seemed pointless at times.
“I would just always think about him,” said Segura, whose ankle sprain currently has him on the disabled list. “I wasn’t talking. I didn’t have fun playing this game.”
His numbers reflected that.
After an All-Star season in 2013, when he batted .294 and stole 44 bases, Segura’s production plunged. He hit .247 in 2014, .257 in 2015 and never managed more than six home runs.
Amplifying the frustration was that he was working…