Royals outfielder Paulo Orlando sat at his locker at Royals camp on Thursday morning, returning to the clubhouse more than three days after the birth of his son, Derek Alexandre Orlando, in Kansas City.
For three days, Orlando had shuttled back and forth from his home to the University of Kansas Hospital, forsaking normal sleep patterns and spending time with his wife and newborn son. But as he returned to work, Orlando said he felt rested and excited, enthused by the addition to the family.
“I just want to say thank you for all the nurses, doctors back in Kansas City and [University of Kansas Health System],” Orlando said. “They took care of my wife and my family, so we appreciate it.”
Orlando left camp Saturday evening and accompanied his wife, Fabricia, to the hospital on Sunday afternoon. Derek Alexandre was born at 1:16 a.m. on early Monday morning, Orlando said.
The name? Well, it was inspired by baseball, too.
Years ago, when Fabricia Orlando was pregnant the first time, Paulo told her he wanted to name his first son after a certain Yankees shortstop. Fabricia agreed, but they ended up having a daughter, Maria Eduarda, who is now 7 years old.
This time, it was a boy.
“If it’s a boy, I want to [give] the name Derek, because of Derek Jeter,” Orlando said. “I like how he play, his attitude off the field. He’s a great example for all the baseball players.”
Orlando, a native of Brazil, is entering his third season with the Royals. He will begin the season as the club’s fourth outfielder, filling in as a defensive replacement while spelling all three outfielders. But for most of the last week, Orlando’s focus wasn’t on baseball. It was on his son.
“I don’t know if he’ll like sports,” he said. “Hopefully he’ll love sports anyway. I just want to thank God for the moment.”