By Miguel Guerra
This experience completely marked the life of the Cuban pitcher, since it ended in failure, as he was unable to fulfill his goal of emigrating from Cuba.
However, this time we bring you the counterpart of that story, told directly by the Cuban firethrower, we find out all the details of his abandonment of the Cuba team and finally arriving in the United States to fulfill the dream of playing in the Majors. Suspenders.
How do you leave Cuba?
«One day I called a friend who lived in the United States and told him that I couldn’t take it anymore and that I was leaving. There were two Cuban teams, one for the World Cup in Spain and the other for Rotterdam, I was sure that I had to go out in one of those two teams and I told him that I would stay in the one that arrived.
“It was quite a difficult step, my daughter was one day old, I did not see her, I could not meet her because she was going on the trip.”
«When they called me to go to Holland and my friend knew it, that was arriving in Holland and I think that after an hour I left. I remember that when we went to the restaurant to eat I saw the father of my friend who practically went to the hotel, when I saw him I froze a little, he put a note on a table, I took that paper and went up to the room».
“I read the paper, there it was telling me that at the entrance of the hotel there was a gray Volvo with white seats, to wait for me when I left and that if I had my passport I should take it.”
«It was like that, I took my passport, I went out and I got in the car; Incredibly they always collect the passports however at that time they did not take it away ».
How was the route from Holland to the place where you were going to start the journey to reach the big leagues?
«From Rotterdam I arrived in Amsterdam, I was there for two days, there was the mess on television referring to me as the deserter, etc. I was a little scared because I thought they could catch me and send me to Cuba, I didn’t want to go back or anything like that.”
«I told the people who were with me that I wanted to leave there that I was not calm. From there we rented a car and went to Spain, there I stayed for a while trying to find residence to seek free agency.
“I couldn’t get it in Spain, but it became easier to get it in Andorra because of the requirements they asked for. I was not in Andorra for a long time, because once I obtained residency, they soon gave me free agency. Then I traveled to Madrid, I was there for almost a week, I went to the embassy to look for a visa and as soon as they gave me the visa I think I flew to New York two days later».
How do you start showing yourself to headhunters?
«I was signed with a company whose agent and owner were a fan of Boston and the other of the Yankees, they were in that dilemma for me to sign with one of those teams. At that time they were talking to some teams, they took me to Boston, there I had a bullpen, then I returned to New York and spent 15 or 20 days there.
«Later I had a conversation with Kendry Morales regarding my contract and the percentages with the company and my lawyer. Kendry explained a few things to me and I saw many errors in the contract, from there I spoke with his lawyer and decided to change agencies, I stayed there all that time until I signed with Cincinnati.
Is it the best decision of your life?
«Yes, the best decision I have made in my life was that. At that time the athletes when they left Cuba already had in mind that they could not return, that’s why I thought about it a lot, but I also thought that one day I could get my family out of Cuba. Thank God everything went well and over the years I was able to bring my family».
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“I was scared”, Aroldis Chapman revealed EXCLUSIVE DETAILS of his departure from Cuba