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When Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez stepped up to the plate in the first inning Tuesday night, he had three extra special guests cheering for him.
Fresh after arriving from Cuba, his father, Agustín Eduardo Álvarez Salazar, teary-eyed mother Mailyn Cadogan Reyes and brother Yonder Alvarez Cadogan each proudly wore a No 44 Alvarez jersey as they gazed wide-eyed at the field, watching the Houston star play professionally for the first time.
“This is one of my biggest moments in my entire life,” his father told The Associated Press in Spanish through a translator. “And I could be able to say so many words, but the truth is that there are no words to express what I’m feeling right now.”
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His son did his part, too, getting an early hit as the AL West leaders beat Minnesota 4-2.
To be at Minute Maid Park to see Alvarez play for the first time in his fourth major league season was a long and arduous operation that involved many roadblocks.
“It was an extensive process to get here,” Salazar said. “We’ve had to go through a lot of difficulties to get here today.”
Despite those struggles, the family never lost hope that they’d make it to see their son play in the majors. They arrived on Friday.
“It never crossed our minds that we were not going to be able to be here,” his father said. “We know that in order to make things happen we have to confront difficulties and that’s why we’re here today.”