MIAMI, United States. — American baseball player Nolan Arenado, third baseman and fourth hitter for Team USA that will play today in the final of the World Baseball Classic against Japan, referred to his Cuban roots shortly before the game last Sunday against the Cuban team.
In the pre-game press conference, the St. Louis Cardinals player reflected on his Cuban roots and said he was proud to face the national team of his grandparents.
“To be honest there are a lot of emotions. We had a long conversation. I am excited to play against Cuba. If it weren’t for my grandparents’ sacrifices to get here for my parents, I don’t know if I would be the player I am today. There are many feelings. I respect the players, but we have a job to do,” said the third baseman.
Review The New Herald that Nolan Arenado’s grandfather was once a political prisoner of the Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. The player’s father, Fernando, left the country along with some relatives when he was barely six years old. After a brief passage through Spain they were able to reach the United States.
Despite emigrating from Cuba at a very young age, Arenado’s father was able to instill in his son a respect for his roots and a desire to absorb as much information as possible about the island.
The infielder, 10-time Gold Glove winner and five-time Silver Slugger, also referred to the controversy surrounding Cuban players who play in the Major Leagues and who decided to represent the Cuban Baseball Federation (FCB) team. .
“I have asked people about it. I have asked Cuban players, former Cuban baseball players about their opinion. I’m going to keep mine private. I think we are all proud to represent our country. Just as I am proud to represent the United States. I understand why they do it. They have more problems there, but I don’t think it’s up to me to talk about it,” said the player.