Reutilio Hurtado Returns to Cuba: "The Love They've Shown Me is Incredible"

Wednesday, June 5, 2024 by Richard Morales

Reutilio Hurtado Returns to Cuba: "The Love They've Shown Me is Incredible"
Reutilio Hurtado - Image by © CiberCuba

Just days after receiving his permanent residency card (Green Card) in the United States, former star baseball player Reutilio Hurtado wasted no time and traveled to Cuba to embrace his loved ones.

In an exclusive post on his Facebook page, sports journalist and commentator Yasel Porto reported that the former center fielder had gone a year and nine months without physical contact with his twins, Maikel David and Mauro Denis.

"He hadn't seen his 17-year-old sons since leaving Cuba to finally settle in Houston," wrote the communicator before sharing a message sent by the Santiago native himself.

"It's incredible how the people here in Santiago have treated me. From the moment I arrived at the airport, everyone on the street, in the neighborhood, has shown me tremendous love," commented the current children's coach.

During his sports career, the outfielder was part of both versions of the famous "Santiago Steamroller," a nickname for those nearly unbeatable teams managed by the late manager Higinio Vélez.

Wearing number 52, the brother of former professional boxer Diosbelys Hurtado accumulated 21 National Series with an offensive line of .289 average/.400 OBP/890 OPS, according to statistics from the official Cuban baseball page.

Other notable figures include his more than 1,000 runs scored (1,059) and RBIs (1,083), as well as 252 home runs, making him the fourth Santiago native with the most homers, only behind the three greatest hitters from that eastern region: Orestes Kindelán, Antonio Pacheco, and Gabriel Pierre.

Hurtado's Exclusive Interview

In an exclusive interview with CiberCuba in 2021, Hurtado commented that "the executives of that era never separated me from my brother. I'm talking about the then-president of INDER, Humberto Rodríguez, national commissioner Carlos Rodríguez, technical director Benito Camacho (previously Miguel Valdés), and Santiago de Cuba mentor Higinio Vélez, may he rest in peace."

He recalled Vélez telling him, "taking you to the Cuba team meant waking up with my brother in Miami. Everyone mentioned me as a potential defector."

In his conversation with our outlet, he remembered, "I was deprived of participating, at least, in the Central American and Caribbean Games in Maracaibo '98, the World Championship in Italy that same year, the Pan American Games in Winnipeg '99, the Olympic Games in Sydney 2000, the World Championship in Taipei, China 2001, and any major event up to the Athens Olympics in 2004 and the first World Baseball Classic in 2006."

"Those were years when my performance was far above the other center fielders across the island. Of course, I felt very bad, to the point where I sometimes thought about quitting baseball, but thanks to my family who always supported me, I didn't," he stated.

His biography includes six national titles and two Revolution Cups; however, it lacks Olympic and world medals, despite having shown enough talent to be part of several Cuban teams.

Reutilio Hurtado's Return to Cuba: Key Questions Answered

Reutilio Hurtado's return to Cuba has sparked interest and curiosity. Here are some key questions and answers about his journey and experiences.

Why did Reutilio Hurtado return to Cuba?

Reutilio Hurtado returned to Cuba to reunite with his loved ones, especially his twin sons, after being away for over a year and nine months.

How was Reutilio Hurtado received in Santiago?

Reutilio Hurtado was warmly welcomed by the people of Santiago, who showed him tremendous love and support from the moment he arrived.

What notable achievements did Reutilio Hurtado have in his baseball career?

Reutilio Hurtado accumulated 21 National Series with a .289 average, .400 OBP, and 890 OPS. He also scored over 1,000 runs and RBIs and hit 252 home runs, making him the fourth Santiago native with the most homers.

© CubaHeadlines 2024

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