4:20 AM UTC
A Farewell to Nelson Cruz: A Dominican Baseball Legend
SANTIAGO — Last night’s match at the Cibao stadium was filled with emotions as the Board of Directors of the Águilas Cibaeñas and the fans bid farewell to one of the greatest players born in the Dominican Republic, Nelson Cruz.
A Symbolic Pitch from a Dominican Icon
It wasn’t just any pitch, it came from the hand of Nelson Cruz, a true legend in Dominican baseball. Cruz, hailing from Montecristi, entered Major League baseball following the footsteps of his compatriot Osvaldo Virgil.
A Special Reception for a Legendary Receiver
Accompanying the heartfelt farewell, the Águilas Cibaeñas invited Tony Peña, the greatest receiver born in the Dominican Republic, to be the honorary catcher for Nelson Cruz’s first pitch. This pairing of childhood friends from Montecristi marked a significant moment in Dominican baseball history.
Gratitude and Memories
Expressing his gratitude, Cruz thanked the Águilas Cibaeñas for the emotional farewell, acknowledging that the past week has been filled with a whirlwind of emotions and cherished memories.
A Token of Appreciation
In recognition of his remarkable career, the Aguiluchos presented Cruz, a formidable slugger who dominated the Major Leagues for 19 seasons, with a special T-shirt adorned with the signatures of his fellow players.
A Sentimental Gift
Cruz also received a pad adorned with the symbols of the Eagles and the number 23, which he proudly wore during his time with the Gigantes del Cibao in Lidom. This heartfelt gesture was presented by Víctor García Sued, Aguilucho president, Ángel Ovalles, General Manager, and Juan Carlos Pérez, captain.
A Family Affair
Witnessing this memorable occasion were Nelson Cruz Senior, his partner, and children, along with esteemed figures such as Winston “Chilote Llenas, Luis Ermuc, Frank Valdez, and the manager of the Águilas, José Leger.
A Remarkable Career in Lidom
Nelson Cruz made his debut in Lidom back in 2001 when the San Francisco de Macorís franchise was still known as the Pollos. Throughout his career, he has played in 191 games, boasting an impressive batting average of .297. With 194 hits, including 33 home runs, one triple, and 34 doubles, Cruz has scored 108 runs and driven in 116 teammates.
A Farewell Tour
As a final tribute, Nelson Cruz will bid farewell to baseball by playing a game against each Lidom team at various venues, ensuring that his legacy lives on in the hearts of fans across the Dominican Republic.