Sitting near his Salt River Fields locker, D-backs reliever Noé Ramirez is chill.
His legs are stretched out and his head down as he looks at his phone. It’s a stark contrast to the Noé Ramirez who punches his mitt and shouts when he gets the third out.
His off-the-mound demeanor aligns with his love of music — in particular, laidback reggae/roots reggae. He is also an avid vinyl collector who’s so obsessed that he’s heading to San Francisco on an off day to pick the brain — and collection — of a longtime enthusiast.
“Old reggae has always been No. 1,” he says with a smile. “I love collecting original vinyl. So, I’m trying to make connections in that scene, too. Older DJs are really helping me with my collection.”
Ramirez recently purchased rarities by the reggae singer Rising Son. He says he could feel the vibes of previous listeners on the record, which was made in 1978.
He and his friends scour music calendars to see who’s performing a particular night.
“We find someone who looks interesting and listen to their music,” Ramirez says. “It could be any genre. We just go.”
Music is in Ramirez’s blood. His father is a drummer who plays classic rock covers ranging from Led Zeppelin to the Bee Gees. Ramirez’s dad taught him to have a good ear for music.
“I’ve always been a sound guy,” he says. “I was just talking to one of our strength coaches about earbuds. I lost my AirPods. I think it’s a good thing. I want good quality-sounding earbuds.”
Charity work is equally as important to Ramirez, who was born in East Los Angeles to Mexican immigrant parents. He, his two brothers and three sisters were raised in the Ramona Gardens public housing development in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, California.
An alumnus of Alhambra High School and Cal State Fullerton, Ramirez was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the fourth round of the 2011 draft. He made his major league debut with the Red Sox in 2015 and was claimed by the Angels on waivers in 2017. Three years later, on December 7, 2020, he was traded to the Reds for Raisel Iglesias, and was released on March 27, 2021.
The following day, he joined the Angels again. On May 22, 2021, he signed a minor league contract with the D-backs, and was called up on June 18.
During his first stint with the Angels, Ramirez was honored with a Los Angeles City Council resolution for his accomplishments on and off the field.
Earlier this year, he started the foundation BRICKS, a reflection of the bricks in the projects. Ramirez further aids his hometown with baseball clinics for the Ramona Gardens Boys & Girls Club during the off season.
“I’m just going back to my roots and helping as many kids in the area as I possibly can,” says Ramirez, who donned a Boyle Heights shirt during an interview with Bally Sports while on the Angels. “Boyle Heights will always be in my heart for sure."
“I remember as a kid, good people would come out to us. The Dodgers were constantly coming in town. The Lakers would help out. I remember that feeling when I was a kid, and I know how important it was.”
He tries to impart to children and fans that being in the big leagues is tough — not everyone can make it.
“The message we send is if you don’t make it in baseball, there are so many other fields you could be successful in," he says.
“It’s all about mentality and seeking help when you need it. Some of these kids are hardheaded, and they don’t want to ask for help. We say it’s OK to ask for help.”
Stepping foot in the desert
A former Downtown LA resident, Ramirez wasn’t “a big desert guy” before he joined the D-backs. Spending Spring Training in Tempe with the Angels changed his tune.
“I was out here a bunch, and I just started to really appreciate Arizona and I started to like it more,” he says. “Being here with these guys is great. The team takes care of us well. It’s definitely a good vibe. I like it.”
Ramirez, who recently took up golf, is looking forward to exploring the Valley’s restaurants.
“I don’t consider myself a foodie,” he says. “But Los Angeles has so many gems and I’m constantly going out there. I’m hoping to do the same out here. I just got here late last season. I’m sure there are some restaurants and gems out here. I’ll have to start asking around.”