Salvador Johan Pérez Diaz (born May 10, 1990) is a Venezuelan professional baseball catcher for the Kansas City Royals of Major League Baseball (MLB). He is a five-time MLB All-Star, four-time Gold Glove Award winner, and received the World Series Most Valuable Player Award when the Royals won the 2015 World Series over the New York Mets.
Pérez was born in Valencia, Carabobo, Venezuela. He was abandoned by his father at age four and raised by his mother, Yilda Diaz. When he was eight years old, the two relocated to Valencia to live with Yilda's mother, Carmen de Diaz. Yilda supported the family by selling homemade cakes, flan, and lasagna.
To keep her only child busy, Yilda enrolled him in a baseball school in Valencia, where he showed an ability to throw, catch, and hit balls as young as age six. He played pitcher and shortstop with teams competing in state and national tournaments. At age eight, he indicated his preference to play catcher, and, at 14, set his mind to playing that position professionally. Pérez played with and against current Major Leaguer and fellow Venezuelan second baseman José Altuve during his boyhood.