Tonight, Jose Iglesias plans to take his father Candelario out to a nice dinner. But even the most lavish Father’s Day feast will pale in comparison to the celebration they shared on May 8th when the slick-fielding shortstop made his major league debut with the Boston Red Sox.
(Photo courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)
“His dream was to see me play in the big leagues and it has happened already,” Iglesias said. “My father was my first coach. We started when I was 6 years old. He knows baseball because he used to play in an amateur league in Cuba. He loves baseball and is a great fan.”
(Jose Iglesias with his father, Candelario, and a friend. Photo courtesy of Gordon Edes/ESPNBoston.com)
Jose Iglesias defected from Cuba in July of 2008 and went nearly two years without seeing his father. Candelario Iglesias was finally able to join his son in the United States last January.
“I have a brother in Mexico,” Jose said. “My father flew to Mexico and after that, he was able to cross the border into San Diego.”
Father and son are currently living together near Pawtucket, along with Jose’s girlfriend and 3-month-old son. Having dad in the apartment might not be the preference of some 21-year-olds, but Jose says he wouldn’t have it any other way.
(Photo of Candelario Iglesias courtesy of Rick “JOTS” Medeiros)
“I live with my dad, but I feel free because he’s here,” Iglesias said. “If I didn’t have him here I would be sad, but I feel very happy. I think the most important thing in life is family. You always learn when you are with your family – every single day you learn something. They always want the best for you.”
Tonight Jose and Candelario will celebrate their first Father’s Day together since being reunited in the United States. Does the same holiday exist back home in Cuba?
“Yes, we have Father’s Day in Cuba,” Iglesias said. “It’s already happened this year, so me and my father are lucky – we get to celebrate twice.”
* * * * *
My Father’s Day celebration started bright and early as 5-year-old Sam Hoard burst into his parent’s bedroom at 5:35 am to give me my present – a painting of a baseball stadium.
I wouldn’t love an original van Gogh as much as Sam’s masterpiece.
Happy Father’s Day! Especially to my father Larry Hoard and my step-dad Jack Bailey.
I’d love to hear from you. The address is email@example.com.
If you Twitter, you can follow my tweets at http://twitter.com/Dan_Hoard
And I have finally joined Facebook. Just search for Dan Hoard and look for the photo of me with the handsome lad.