ST. PETERSBURG — Randy Arozarena had a special guest at Tuesday’s Wild Card Series opener: his mom.
Sandra Gonzalez was granted a visa to make the trip from Mexico on Monday and saw him play in the major leagues for the first time. And to make it more special, she threw out the first pitch that he caught.
“I’m just really happy that she’s here,” Arozarena, who went 2-for-4, said via team communications director Elvis Martinez. “It’s a really proud moment for me and my family.”
Arozarena defected from Cuba in 2015 and settled in Mexico to start his path to the majors. He said his mother made the move to Mexico around 2017, and she had been trying for the last four years to get approval to come to the United States.
“A few weeks ago, I started the process again. She went to an appointment and got the visa. And I’m so really happy and blessed that she’s here. She’s going to watch me play in a Major League Baseball game for the first time but it’s also important that she’s going to watch me playing in the playoffs, which is really important for me that she’s here in a game like this.”
Arozarena said his mom had a strong arm, and she showed it, going to the top of the mound and firing a strike.
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