We don’t pay much attention to winter league baseball around here, but once in a while something neat happens. In that “four saddest words” thread from yesterday (great job, by the way everyone, I laughed at all of them, even the ones making fun of me), reader bajamex hipped me to one of those neat stories.
Braves third baseman Adonis Garcia defected from Cuba in 2011. He is playing winter ball in Venezuela this year and right now is playing in the Caribbean Series for Venezuela’s Tigres de Aragua. Cuba, for the third year after an extended absence, is in the series once again. Jose Adolis Garcia is Adonis Garcia’s younger brother. He’s only 22 now and was 16 when Adonis defected. While they had kept in touch by telephone and played online video games they have not seen each other in that time.
They got to see each other and sat down for an interview with Jorge L. Ortiz of USA Today prior to their two teams playing. That was nice, but reader bajamex’s description of what happened in the game was even nicer. Here’s his comment:
Adonis García left Cuba in January of 2011, played in the winter league of Venezuela and was signed by the Yankees and released in 2015 only to be signed by Los Bravos de Atlanta to play in MLB.
Today, he was playing third base for the Venezuelan representative while a cuban right fielder hit a screamer that turned out to be a triple for the batter-runner who exchanged a coy smile with Adonis… the batter’s name? José Adolis García, the brother of Adonis García who last saw his brother Adolis in 2011 when the younger García was a kid. Later Adolis scored in a groundout but it gave the García brothers time to exchange a few words and nothing more, since fraternizing with the rival is not well viewed as in MLB, not only among Cuban teams but overall in hispanoamerican baseball during a game.
I’m sure hugging and talking and giving that interview meant the world for the Garcia brothers. But I bet that moment on the field meant something different and maybe even more special too.
Here’s to thawing relationship, reunited families and, if the scouts are correct, the younger Garcia brother joining the older in the big leagues in the not too distant future.