Jose Abreu on greeting his son in the United States: 'I just started crying'
BY COLLEEN KANE
Tribune Content Agency
\KANSAS CITY, Mo. —While going through his pregame routine Tuesday at
Kauffman Stadium, White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu wore a sleeveless
shirt that revealed the tattoo of his son's face on his left biceps.
His eyes welled up as he spoke of the moment Monday when he greeted that
face in person in the United States for the first time.
"I couldn't say anything," Abreu said Tuesday through a Sox interpreter.
"I just started crying."
Abreu was separated from his son Dariel, now 5, when he defected from
Cuba in 2013, a few months before signing a six-year contract with the Sox.
He saw his son in person once since then, during Major League Baseball's
goodwill trip to Cuba in December. But on the Sox's off day Monday,
Abreu went to Miami to greet his son upon his arrival in the U.S. before
heading to Kansas City for the series opener against the Royals on Tuesday.
Abreu, whose parents joined him in the U.S. in 2014, said Dariel now has
a five-year U.S. visa that will allow him to visit more often, and he
thanked his agents for helping to see the process through. He said
"everything" about the separation has been difficult.
"It was a long process, but finally we did it and we are together
again," Abreu said. "I couldn't believe it until yesterday when I
finally saw him. That was a very special moment."
Abreu sent videos of himself playing to Dariel in Cuba, but this weekend
against the Marlins in Miami will be the first time Abreu's son sees him
play an MLB game live.
"He wants to see me play, but he's more excited to be with me," Abreu said.
Sox manager Robin Ventura said he "can't imagine" what Abreu has been
through being separated from his son.
"You can tell he's got a little bounce in his step," Ventura said.
"You're happy for him. He has been dreaming for this a long time. You
can just tell it has picked his spirits up as of late knowing this was
going to happen. He's happy. … He's a great guy and I know he always
wants to do the right thing, so this is pretty important to him."
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