In the 2000s, the Cuban national baseball team had a young player blossoming into a star.
Back then, this player was a member of the Cuban local league, but like many people in the island, dreamed about becoming a major leaguer.
This player was one of the best in his country, and even represented it in international competitions such as the 2006 World Baseball Classic.
This player’s name is Yuli Gurriel, a man who was born to play baseball.
Gurriel defected from Cuba in the mid-2010s and established residence in another country before applying to play in MLB.
He signed with the Houston Astros in 2016, and the rest is history.
One Of The Astros’ Iconic Players
He has been with the team ever since then, and his performance has justified his roster spot every single year.
With a career 111 wRC+ that proves he has been an above-average hitter, he is also a great, versatile defender.
Capable of playing all over the infield, he gives Houston solutions.
His teammates love him, and he remains a fierce competitor even as he ages.
For Gurriel, Houston is home.
“#Astros 1B Yuli Gurriel on Houston: ‘This city…is like home. I can’t go back to Cuba, most of the Cuban population here lives in Miami…but Houston for me has been a second home. From when I arrived, I felt the admiration from the fans, the support…I feel like I’m home,'” sports reporter Daniel Gotera tweeted, quoting Gurriel.
#Astros 1B Yuli Gurriel on Houston: “This city…is like home. I can’t go back to Cuba, most of the Cuban population here lives in Miami…but Houston for me has been a second home. From when I arrived, I felt the admiration from the fans, the support…I feel like I’m home.” pic.twitter.com/4FnGQgpn9b
— Daniel Gotera (@DTGoteraKHOU) October 27, 2022
He is currently about to start his fourth World Series with the team, hoping to win the second one after the one in 2017.
Life was hard on him sometimes, but it rewarded him with a second home in Houston.