Just under a year ago, the Rays decided to take a flier on a 27 year old outfielder who grew up playing baseball on the island of Cuba. Varona had defected from his native country during the latter months on 2013, but had since been working on gaining his work visa in order to pursue a career in major league baseball in order to raise enough money to hopefully reunite with his family.
However, he never thought he'd be able to reunite so soon, as fate would play a hand. In December, the Tampa Bay Rays won the lottery to become the first team to play in Cuba since 1999 and they have now decided to take Dayron Varona with them.
The team arrived late last night, but Varona's family had been at the airport most of the day waiting on him.
Once he walked into the lobby, he felt his family's glorious embrace for the first time in three years.
To make the moment even more ripe for Varona, Kevin Cash announced that Varona will bat leadoff on Tuesday and start in right field. Thus, making him the first batter from a major league team in 16 years to take a plate appearance in Cuba.