Adrian Gonzalez is a San Diego native and had a bicultural childhood, living on both sides of the United States-Mexico border. He’s honoring his family’s heritage by playing for Mexico at the World Baseball Classic. Robinson Cano earned US citizenship during the offseason, tweeting Nov. 13: “Very proud day for me, I just became a US citizen, God bless America!” As he did in 2009, he’s representing his native Dominican Republic in the WBC, which starts Saturday. Pirates closer Jason Grilli was born in Michigan and attended high school in upstate New York, but he’s a dual citizen of the US and Italy. He’s appearing in his third WBC for Italy, which has one of the strongest national programs in Europe. The WBC reminds us every player has a backstory, with pride sometimes split between the US and other countries of origin. Some players choose which national team they wish to represent, whether to honor an ancestor’s sacrifice or pursue the best opportunity to play. Self-identification emanates from a dynamic emotional bundle, with connections spanning oceans and decades, more enduring than the sport itself. With Cuba, it’s complicated. As Cuba prepares for its WBC opener against Brazil — in Japan,… Read full this story
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