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From the Press Box

Amaury Pi-González

Although there are no diplomatic relations between the US and communist Cuba, that has not stopped dozens of Cuban baseball players escaping the island for years now. They have traveled via small homemade rafts in the middle of the night (very dangerous journey) or when their national team plays in a foreign country. They ask for political exile. Later, these players find their dreams, to play in the major leagues.

Jorge Soler of the Atlanta Braves is one of those Cuban players. He just won, unanimously, the Most Valuable Player of the 2021 World Series. Their first World Series championship since 1995. After leaving Cuba, under awful circumstances, Soler was signed by the Chicago Cubs to a 9-year $30 million contract. In 2016 was traded to Kansas City for reliever Wade Davis, two years later he fractured a toe in his right foot and missed the rest of the season. With the Kansas City Royals. Jorge Soler established their new season home run record. In 2019 Soler’s 48 home runs, broke the previously home run record for the Royals, held by Mike Moustakas of 38 home runs in 2017.

Jorge Soler named World Series MVP - Talking Chop

During the NLDS on October 12 Soler tested positive for Covid a few hours before the Braves played the decisive Game 4 against the Milwaukee Brewers. He had to leave the stadium and remain away from the team for at least 10 days, also missing the first 4 games of the NLCS against the LA Dodgers. He returned last Thursday for the World Series and the rest (like they say) is history.

The slugging outfielder has come full circle with a great performance in the 2021 World Series, especially the 3 run home run in the third inning of the sixth game, a line-shot over 440 feet, that left Minute Maid Park, “A la calle” into the street. The Braves won 7-0 against the Houston Astros and that home run was crucial to open the scoring as the Astros were under pressure against great pitching for 6 innings from their star left-hander Max Fried.

World Series MVP Jorge Soler, from Pinar del Río, Cuba (province famous for producing the best cigars in the world), hit .300 with 6 hits, 4 home runs, 6 runs batted-in, 4 runs scored and 3 walks in the World Series.

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