In the minors, where players often make meager salaries, Pérez said he didn’t see many players spraying themselves before games. But in the majors, everything is more, from the paychecks to the notoriety.
“You’ve got to look good,” said Astros infielder Aledmys Díaz, 31, a Cuban. “This is the show.”
Before he defected from Cuba in 2016, Gurriel said he used a cologne from the Antonio Banderas Collection — the only cologne brand he could find. In the United States, he has more options and money, so he buys more frequently. And because he plays first base, he gets visits from opponents throughout the game.
“All the players always tell me, ‘You always smell good,’” he said, laughing.
Francisco Lindor, the Mets shortstop from Puerto Rico, rotates between half a dozen scents before games and sometimes mixes them. He said that if players catch a whiff of something they like on the field, they ask each other what they are wearing.
Even though most players are often several dozen feet away from each other on the field, Suárez said he likes hearing that he smells good. Pérez said he can sometimes pick up the aroma of Luis Severino, a Dominican pitcher for the Yankees who uses a women’s body splash, despite Severino being 60 feet 6 inches away when facing him.
“I’m a catcher so I sweat a lot,” Pérez said, pointing to all his gear. “So a little perfume helps. The umpires say, ‘Oh Salvy, you smell good.’ I say: ‘Thank you. Give me some strikes.’”