SAN DIEGO – What began as a bond over the popular video game “Call of Duty: Warzone” has blossomed into a real life friendship for Padres infielder Jurickson Profar and Javi Aguirre.
Profar, the 28-year-old Curaçao native, and Aguirre have been playing the game together for more than a year. This year, they finally met in person at a Los Angeles Angels game with a viral video of the interaction generating plenty of attention.
“I was like, ‘Profar, I’m going to the game tonight, do you want to meet?’ He’s like, ‘Yeah, message me right when you get there,’” Aguirre said. “I was literally amazed. I was like, this is what I expected from Jurickson Profar. He’s a great guy. Attitude was on point.”
For as big of a fan as the Anaheim native is of Profar, the love and fandom is more mutual.
“Very helpful,” Profar said. “I’d like to become like him.”
Profar joined the Padres ahead of the 2020 season in a trade with the Athletics and signed a three-year extension with the club earlier this year. He told FOX 5 he’s been playing video games since he was 11 when his mother bought him a PlayStation 2 upon moving to the United States.
Aguirre works for the gaming company Glo Navy and gave Profar some of their merchandise to show off the first time they met in Anaheim.
“What I want the fans to know about him, he’s always had that winning mentality and if they ever get a chance to play with him, that’s what they’re going to get from him,” Aguirre said of Profar. “He’s going to just always want to win.”
As of Wednesday, the Padres are clawing for a Wild Card spot in the playoffs and currently sit well behind the Giants and Dodgers in the NL West race. Profar is batting .242 this year with three home runs, 29 RBIs and 10 stolen bases for the Friars.
While Profar is busy helping the team in its playoff push — with less time to play “Warzone” — Aguirre said they used to play the game up to five hours a day.
“The passion, during games I love to win too so I pay a lot of attention on the stuff that I’m doing, either if it’s on the field or at home playing,” Profar said. “I pay a lot of attention to try to win all the time.”
Asked about his kill-to-death ratio — a measuring stick of success in the game — Profar said it’s not the best. But he also notes there’s a good reason for that.
“My teammates always give me a hard time about that,” he said, “because when I go back to my home country in Curacao, I let my neighbors play and I play a lot of soccer when I go back, so I don’t game a lot when I’m home. A lot of my friends play on my PlayStation or my laptop and they damage my KD.”