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Vidro keeps focus on Puerto Rico's recovery

Former Nat thankful to have avoided worst from hurricane
MLB.com @WashingNats

NEW YORK -- Former Major Leaguer Jose Vidro is one of the lucky ones. He will be spending Thanksgiving with his family in Puerto Rico. While grateful, Vidro can't help but think about what happened to his native land on Sept. 20.

Hurricane Maria plowed through Puerto Rico, killing hundreds of people and damaging -- even destroying -- many homes. Vidro never thought he would lose his life. It helped that there are no trees where he lives, with the wind blowing so hard. Vidro's house, which is on the west side of the island, suffered minimal damage, but he went weeks without electricity. His home is still without internet service.

NEW YORK -- Former Major Leaguer Jose Vidro is one of the lucky ones. He will be spending Thanksgiving with his family in Puerto Rico. While grateful, Vidro can't help but think about what happened to his native land on Sept. 20.

Hurricane Maria plowed through Puerto Rico, killing hundreds of people and damaging -- even destroying -- many homes. Vidro never thought he would lose his life. It helped that there are no trees where he lives, with the wind blowing so hard. Vidro's house, which is on the west side of the island, suffered minimal damage, but he went weeks without electricity. His home is still without internet service.

Vidro, 43, has a second home on the east side of Puerto Rico, and that received a considerable amount of damage. Fortunately, no one was in the house. The entire family -- wife, Annette; son, Jose Jr.; and daughter, Anais -- were in the main house on the west side.

:: Baseball's Giving Spirit ::

"Even though we have damage [to the house], we still have life and things to look forward to," Vidro said. "It's good that my family is OK, but at the same time, I cannot celebrate Thanksgiving because 70-80 percent of the people are in bad shape. Things are moving slowly, but we are moving forward.

"[On a positive note], families are getting back together the way they used to be. You have to look at it in a good way -- that this thing that happened in Puerto Rico put a lot of families back together. They are spending a lot more time together."

Baseball isn't far from Vidro's mind. The former switch-hitting second baseman hasn't played professional baseball since 2008, when he was released by the Mariners. This year, however, he coached kids in a summer league tournament in Puerto Rico. And, yes, Vidro still follows the Nationals, the organization that employed his services from 1997 to 2006. He thought the Nationals were going to win the World Series this past season, before they were eliminated by the Cubs in the National League Division Series.

"Of all the teams, I thought the Nationals had the most complete team, but once the playoffs came around, it was a different story," Vidro said. "I was really looking for the Nats to make the jump this year and make it to the finals and hopefully win the World Series, but it didn't happen. It's disappointing because they do have the team."

Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002 and hosts a podcast, Newsmakers. He is also on Twitter @WashingNats.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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