Adeiny Hechavarria gets emotional as Cuba advances to Caribbean Series title game
Hechavarria watches a Cuba win in Caribbean Series
Reds closer Aroldis Chapman watched his former Cuban teammates play in the Caribbean Series on Wednesday. On Saturday, Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria was in the stands at Hiram Bithorn Stadium when his old team defeated Venezuela, 8-4, to advance to the Caribbean Series championship game.
Hechavarria traveled from his home in Miami to Puerto Rico just to watch his friends play.
"This is an emotional as you can get, watching your team, your people out on the field playing baseball," Hechavarria said. "The truth is, I wish I could be out on the field with them. I want to be playing with them, but the whole world knows that is not possible. Maybe one day it will be possible, but right now, all I can say is that it's very emotional to be here."
Hechavarria, who defected from Cuba in Mexico in 2009, spoke with a few Cuban players at the team hotel. He shook hands and hugged others near the dugout before the start of Saturday night's game.
"I met everyone and I felt a little sad because I was not playing with them," he said. "But I was really happy to see them, talk to them like I used to in the old days. It's really a beautiful thing to experience. It was really intense and something I will never forget, because this connection is deep, it runs in the blood."
Cuba returned to the Caribbean Series last year after a 54-year absence. Its last title came in 1960.