For the First Time in History, Three Cubans Will Be in the Major League Home Run Derby

Randy Arozarena, Luis Robert Jr. and Adolis García are the Cubans in the the Major League Home Run Derby. (Collage/Instagram)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 6 July 2023 — Cuban baseball players continue to make history in the Major Leagues. Athletes Randy Arozarena, Luis Robert Jr. and Adolis García will compete in the Home Run Derby that will be held on July 10 at T-Mobile Park in Seattle. It’s the “first time” that three athletes born on the Island will participate in this event, which began in 1985, journalist Francys Romero reported on his social networks.

This year, outfielder Randy Arozarena, a naturalized Mexican who plays for the Tampa Bay Rays, will show why he is a key player on the American team. In the first half of the 2023 season, he  achieved 16 home runs.

This home run contest is joined by Luis Robert Jr., hired for $50 million by the Chicago White Sox in 2020, who has connected 25 home runs in the current season. His personal best is surpassed by Shohei Ohtani in the American League.

At first, Robert Jr. had no interest in participating in the Derby, he told MLB magazine, stating that “he was not a born homer and did not know if his game could be successful in the event.”

The Texas Rangers baseball player, Adolis García, was enthusiastic about his participation in the Home Run Derby. He was placed in fourth position and said he was prepared for a first-round confrontation with none other than his friend Randy Arozarena (fifth pre-qualified).

The Home Run Derby will be held one day before the Star Game, where Nolan Arenado will participate. This athlete, the son of Cubans, ruled out participating in representation of the Island in an international tournament. “My father is from Guantánamo,” he told MLB. “Although I don’t speak the language, I am proud of my heritage. Cubans are strong people.”

Upon learning that with the elimination of the repatriation rule for Cubans residing abroad it could be the opening to integrate some selection within the Island, he ruled out that possibility. “I’ll have to talk to my parents and my family about it and see what they say. But from now on, I assume that they would say no until things change there (in Cuba),” he replied to Pelota Cuban journalist Yordan Carmona.

Arenado has won ten gold gloves, six platinum gloves, five silver batters and has been selected for the All-Star Game eight times.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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