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Jeremy Hermida hit a grand slam the very first time he stepped in the batter’s box in the major leagues, becoming the first player since Bill Duggleby in 1898 to achieve that particular feat. That day, Aug. 31, 2005, has been followed by a series of ups and downs, a winding career path that has led the 31-year old to Japan, where he hopes to have the same type of immediate impact for his new team, the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters.

“I’m just glad to be here and excited about the opportunity,” Hermida told The Japan Times on Friday at Tokyo Dome. “I’m not going to try to change who I am. You always have to adapt and adjust to what’s in front of you, but I’m not going to try to change who I am. I’m just going to try to go out there and prepare the way I know to prepare and use the experience I’ve gained so far throughout my career and hopefully it translates over here.”

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