Back on this day in 2016, a young man from Sancti Spiritus, defected.
This is from MLB.com:
“Two top players from the most famous baseball family in Cuba are not expected to return to the island.
Brothers Lourdes Gurriel Jr., 22, and Yulieski Gurriel, 31, defected from Cuba’s Ciego de Avila team following the Caribbean Series that concluded Sunday in order to seek contracts with Major League teams, according to sources. Lourdes is considered the top prospect in Cuba while his brother is considered the country’s best player.”
Yuli Gurriel became a very good major-leaguer. He played first base and helped lead the Astros to the 2017 World Series championship. Yuli and the Astros won the American League pennants in 2019 and 2021, and a second World Series title in 2022. 4 World Series in 6 seasons!
Add to that an AL batting title in 2021, the first Cuban to do so since Tony Oliva won 3 in 1964, 1965 & 1971. Add a AL Gold Glove in 2021. Yuli is a career .284 hitter after 806 games.
At the moment, Yuli is a free agent, and we wish him well.