It had been five years since Yael Puig had seen his family. Jose Abrue had not seen his 2-year-old son since 2013. All this changed when the two baseball players recently returned to Cuba since defecting.
Puig, midfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Abrue, 2014 AL Rookie of the Year, took a three-day trip to the island as part of Major League Baseball’s Goodwill Tour, all in hopes for the MLB to make a comeback in Cuba. But for Puig and Abrue, it was the long-awaited trip home.
“It was special to see all the players’ faces, the emotions they have,” said Miguel Cabrera, who is also part of the tour. “It’s special when you come back to your country, the land where you grew up.”
The players were greeted by family, childhood coaches, and friends at the Hotel Nacional.
Read more and see pictures of these Cuban defectors USA Today’s coverage here.