Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts already has had a pretty full life by age 21. Bogaerts debuted late in 2013 but was on Boston’s 25-man active roster during the team’s postseason run and eventual World Series championship.
Even cooler than that, he’s actually a knight.
Bogaerts is a native of Aruba, a Dutch island in the Caribbean Sea near Venezuela’s coast, and as a member of the country’s baseball team, he’s had some pretty cool opportunities — like being officially knighted by the country’s governor in 2011.
“In 2011, we came out champs of the Baseball World Cup — the Netherlands did — so we all were knighted, even the coaches,” Bogaerts said, via Yahoo! Sports. “Yeah, it was sick.”
Bogaert’s knighthood is so official that when the new king and queen of the Netherlands visited his island last year, they invited him to meet with them.
Unfortunately, a sword isn’t included with the honor.
“No, no sword. I haven’t even read all of the stuff that goes with it,” Bogaerts said. “I know I got a pin. The Order of Orange-Nassau. And if you get knighted, you go down in a book with all of the other knights. It’s special.”
Aruba welcomed Bogaerts back after the Sox’ World Series win with pride. The prime minister called Bogaerts “a hero and exemplary role model for island youth,” according to the Aruba News. Bogaerts also was honored with the first-ever star on the “Walk of Fame” in a local shopping center.
Bogaerts mostly played third base in his limited time with the Sox last year. This season, though, Red Sox manager John Farrell told Bogaerts “not to worry about taking grounders at third base during spring training,” as he likely will get the opportunity to play shortstop in 2014.