Major League Baseball star Yasiel Puig is now officially a citizen of the United States. On Wednesday, Puig announced on Instagram he’s officially a U.S. Citizen just hours before the Cleveland Indians take on the Boston Red Sox. This is a long-time coming for the veteran outfielder who has been playing in the majors since 2013.
As mentioned by ABC News 5 in Cleveland, Puig was born in Cuba and he lived there for 22 years. In 2009, Puig tried to defect to Mexico in order to become a legal resident and sign a contract to play in Major League Baseball. However, Puig’s first attempt to defect wasn’t successful and he had to try 13 times before he became a citizen.
Earlier this year when Puig was a member of the Cincinnati Reds, he got to play in Mexico for a series and he was excited to be back.
“That’s sweet. More for myself and for the other Latin players, it’s more exciting to play in some Spanish country,” Puig said via Cincinnati.com. “We’re going to be there, having fun and doing the best we can – both teams – to bring the best baseball and the best love that we can bring of the game to the baseball fans in Mexico. I hope everyone in Mexico loves those two games over there.”
He went on to say that it’s great MLB is going international since there are a lot of players who are not from the U.S.
“That’s cool and fun to bring baseball in different (places) like London, Mexico, Japan, Australia, things like that,” Puig said. “That’s good for MLB to do that kind of stuff because there’s a lot of baseball players not born and raised in the United States. Everybody across the world follows baseball. People deserve to have a baseball game sometimes in their countries too.”
Along with becoming a U.S. citizen, Puig will return to Indians on Wednesday as he just finished serving a three-game suspension for his involvement in a fight in his last night with the Reds. And for the Indians, they will be happy to have him back as he has recorded home run, four doubles, a triple and six RBIs in 11 games. Cleveland is looking to make a playoff run and Puig could be the spark they need.