SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It started with a couple of teenagers, looking for a path to follow.
Then came the young boxers, the basketball players, the emerging track stars and, of course, more than a few who want to travel Angel Pagan's road to big league success. At a public track facility in Dorado, Puerto Rico, Pagan led offseason workouts that swelled in size until three dozen athletes, some as young as 5, were training with the leadoff hitter of the World Series champion Giants.
Pagan doesn't turn anybody away, and his trainer, Felix Molina, the cousin of the catching Molina brothers, doesn't charge those willing to work. Pagan simply wants the next generation of Puerto Rican athletes to understand that you don't coast to a ring, fame and a $40 million deal.
You work for it.
"In my country, the young guys are going in the wrong direction," Pagan said. "Role models don't show themselves."
Pagan, fresh off the best season of his career, made himself as visible as can be. He held workouts up to three times a day in the small beach-side town, his offseason home, with some of them lasting three hours. It's the eighth year that he has gone through a similar offseason workout plan, and the crowd that once could be counted on one hand swelled after Pagan's breakthrough 2012 season.
"Sometimes athletes like to train by themselves and don't like to be bothered, and I respect that," Pagan said. "But I like to show how I work. There's no time to lollygag. If I give the wrong example, that's what they're going to learn.
"That's not the type of legacy I want to leave."
Pagan's legacy as a ballplayer took a dramatic turn last season. For just the second time in his career, Pagan played more than 123 games. He hit .288 with eight homers and a San Francisco Giants-record 15 triples. He also stole 29 bases while stabilizing the leadoff spot.
In December, even with the free-agent market flush with outfielders, the Giants gave Pagan a four-year, $40 million deal.
"We thought it was pretty critical that we get Angel back," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He had a great year, likes the ballpark and enjoys the city. We needed an everyday leadoff guy, and I think last year you saw a guy that really came into his own."
A year after being acquired in a quiet trade, the 31-year-old Pagan is set for life. But he doesn't view it that way.
"My bank account did change, but my focus and my hunger for the game will never change," he said. "I want to go out there and be the 'Crazy Horse' every day. I want to leave my heart on the field and help this club win ballgames and championships."
Pagan also wants to leave his mark in his home country, and he knows just how to do it. His childhood taught him the importance of a stable family life, and it's a lesson Pagan hopes to convey to his young male training partners. Pagan said his wife and two daughters, ages 8 and 5, often joined him at the track for offseason workouts.
"The kids there see what daddy does to bring food to the table," Pagan said, mentioning the rampant crime that can be a problem in his home country. "They see how responsible you have to be. We've got to start from the root. That's what I'm trying to do."
Pagan has considered opening a free training facility in Puerto Rico, but time is limited when you're coming off a World Series title and the longest season of your career. Few Giants needed the offseason rest more than Pagan, who played through an abdominal injury and a cut hand while logging a career-high 154 games. After the World Series parade, Pagan took three weeks off before getting back to his intense training sessions.
"I needed the rest because my body asked for it," Pagan said. "That's the first time I played that long. It was a short offseason, but it was very productive."
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