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The Hidden Story of Yasiel Puig

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The Hidden Story of Yasiel Puig

Credits to Wikipedia

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Credits to Wikipedia

Noah Choi, Sports Writer

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   Yasiel Puig, the Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder with an explosive arm and intense power at the plate, is fan favorite player for many.  With his great talent in baseball, many don’t focus on his rough childhood. Filled with many impressive at-bats, being banned off the national team, and smuggling his way to America, Puig’s unfinished story is quite an adventure.

    On December 7, 1990, Yasiel Valdes Puig was born in Cuba, to his parents Omar and Maritza Puig.  Puig grew up in Cienfuegos, a seaport city with the population of 150,000. He was interested in baseball during his childhood, as he looked up to one of the country’s best baseball players, Pedro Jr.  At the age of 17, Puig made Cuba’s National juniors baseball team, making it all the way to the quarterfinals before being defeated by South Korea, receiving a bronze medal. Due to Puig’s talents that had impressed the scouts, he earned himself a position in Cuba’s version of professional baseball, the Serie Nacional.

    During his first season, Yasiel batted a solid .276 with just five homers.  During his second season, Puig impressed the fans, hitting an impressive batting average of .330 with 17 home runs.

 On the Summer of 2011, Yasiel Puig took his chances with a pitcher Gerardo Concepcion, attempting to defect.  This shook the baseball community, followed by Puig’s ban from playing in the Serie Nacional. Nobody knows whether this is true or not, as his teammates stated that this was a coverup story for his attempt at shoplifting a sneaker store.

    Due to his ban from baseball, Puig was determined to make it to the U.S.  He has attempted several more times to make it to America through refugee boats, and all the times he got caught by Cuban authorities.  

    During one of Yasiel’s attempts he boarded a boat run by two Americans.  A few hours into the trip, the boat was stopped by a U.S. Coast guard cutter, then were forced to board the cutter.  Somehow during the ride, the U.S. Coast guards got word that a baseball player was on board. The boat’s interpreter, Carlos Torres, searched Puig’s name, finding an article comparing him to a Major League outfielder.  On the ride back, Puig and Torres became friends, with Torres possibly becoming Puig’s agent if he somehow made it to America.

    At that same June, Puig finally reached Mexico.  Nobody know much about how he did this, as the people involved refuse to answer question.  We don’t know how, when, what, or where he landed. Some believe that Puig had made a deal with drug dealers, but the truth is unclear.  And from Mexico, Yasiel started his baseball career once again.

    In Mexico City, Jaime Torres (his agent) invited scouts to come down to watch Puig hit.  At first, Puig didn’t meet the expectations. But after working out and taking the rust off his year long break, the Los Angeles Dodgers signed Puig to a $42 million dollar deal for seven years.  The Dodgers sent Puig to several separate camps and leagues other than the MLB to start off with. After Yasiel exploded with a .500 batting average, the Dodgers sent him to a AA camp. With all three of LA’s outfielders, Yasiel Puig was called up to the Majors.  

    On his first at-bat in the MLB, Puig hit a hard line drive to center for a single, with another single in the 6th inning.  He had also saved possibly the game by throwing out the runner at second. The game ended as a 2-1 win because of Yasiel. He then went on to carry the Dodgers with an insanely high batting average to the NLCS, where they were finally defeated by the Cardinals.

    Overall, Puig’s childhood is not clear, but that doesn’t make it any less exciting.  He went from looking up to Cuba’s baseball superstar, to becoming a beast of his own.  With all the hours put into baseball, and all his attempts to reach America, Puig worked hard to get to where he is now.  Yes, he may have started off with a ton of natural talent, but it was his determination to keep going to play ball is what had got him to the MLB.  

 

About the Writer
Noah Choi, Sports Writer

Noah Choi attends Parks Jr. High.  He loves shoes and the Dodgers.  Some of Noah’s hobbies are baseball, TKD, and reselling hype shoes and clothes....

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