PHILADELPHIA -- Robinson Cano is one of baseball's biggest stars, but Seattle's $240 million man hasn't forgotten the people who've helped him get to where he's at now as a six-time All-Star.
On Monday, Cano surprised Phillies bench coach Larry Bowa by sending over a new Rolex watch to the former Yankees infield coach as a quiet thank you for helping him as a youngster when he was first breaking into the Majors.
Bowa, who worked as the Mariners' third-base coach in 2000, was touched by the gesture and informed media members of Cano's gift. Bowa, 68, was a five-time All-Star shortstop himself for the Phillies during his playing days and served as the Yankees' third-base coach in 2006-07 when Cano was in his second and third seasons in the big leagues.
"He's one of those guys that told you when you get a ground ball, always have in your mind that it could be a bad hop or come up on you," Cano said. "And when you go to second base, always expect a bad throw from the shortstop or anybody, so you'll be ready. You can control that. Those are things that helped me a lot. That's what I really liked about him. He was a good mentor for me. He was a guy who really helped me out."
Bowa brings a fiery personality to the game and an up-front approach that resonated with Cano.
"He's just a guy that liked to win," Cano said. "If you don't know him in the beginning, you might not know what he's about. He'd get angry because he wants to win and those are the people you want to be around. He was a guy that always was there if you wanted to work. That was the main thing. He didn't wait a few days or say, 'Let me see what we can do.' He was always right there."
Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.