Cuban Randy Arozarena has not been able to play in the World Classic of Baseball due to two reasons: the fact that the 2021 Classic was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic and also due to him not having a country to represent, since after having illegally fled Cuba, the government of his country does not allow him to play with the national team.
Recently, Arozarena’s wait was finally over, as it was revealed that he had gotten his Mexican citizenship at the Mexican embassy in Florida.
This was the only legal obstacle that prevented the Tampa Bay Rays outfielder from suiting up with the Mexican national team for the WBC 2023, since the desire and love to wear the “Tri” have always been in his heart since he left Cuba in 2015.
How did Randy Arozarena’s Mexican nationality come about?
Arozarena left his native country on a boat in June of 2015 and settled in the city of Mérida, Mexico, where he played with the Toros de Tijuana and the Mayos de Navojoa before being signed, 13 months after his arrival, by the St. Louis Cardinals. Since then, the 27-year-old player has not stopped showing his love and affection for Mexico, since his daughter was born in that country.
“I became a Mexican citizen, thank God. I am already one of them… I thank Mexico for receiving me. I feel like I represent Mexicans in the Major Leagues and I would like to represent the colors in next year’s World Classic.”Randy Arozarena to ESPN.com.
Arozarena had been rather effusive in his desire to become a citizen of Mexico, and had even approached the president of that nation, Manuel López Obrador, directly through his Instagram account last year, asking him for help to achieve his goal of representing Mexico in the World Baseball Classic.
“He is a Cuban-born baseball player, who was in Mexico, then went to the Major Leagues and participated in the last World Series. He stood out because he broke batting records. He’s a baseball phenomenon. It seems that he is married or has family in Mexico and he wants to have Mexican nationality to represent us. We are going to ask Francisco Garduño, who is the director of Immigration, to get in touch with him and to meet him”.President Manuel Lopez Obrador’s response to Randy Arozarena’s petition
After then, Randy Arozarena’s paperwork traveled a different path, speeding up a process that is generally slow in virtually all countries throughout the world, but was given priority because it was a special case.
Despite taking 84 turns between 2019 and 2020 with the Cardinals and Rays, Arozarena earned American League Rookie of the Year honors in the 2021 season and took home American League Championship Series Most Valuable Player honors that same year.
Randy Arozarena will undoubtedly be a great reinforcement for a Mexican team that is always tough and that will now have one of the most spectacular players in baseball today.