Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez’s parents travel from Cuba to see son play for the first time


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When Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez stepped up to the plate in the first inning Tuesday night, he had three extra special guests cheering for him.

Fresh after arriving from Cuba, his father, Agustín Eduardo Álvarez Salazar, teary-eyed mother Mailyn Cadogan Reyes and brother Yonder Alvarez Cadogan each proudly wore a No 44 Alvarez jersey as they gazed wide-eyed at the field, watching the Houston star play professionally for the first time.

“This is one of my biggest moments in my entire life,” his father told The Associated Press in Spanish through a translator. “And I could be able to say so many words, but the truth is that there are no words to express what I’m feeling right now.”

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Houston Astros' Yordan Alvarez watches his single against the Minnesota Twins during the third inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022, in Houston.

Houston Astros’ Yordan Alvarez watches his single against the Minnesota Twins during the third inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022, in Houston.
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

His son did his part, too, getting an early hit as the AL West leaders beat Minnesota 4-2.

To be at Minute Maid Park to see Alvarez play for the first time in his fourth major league season was a long and arduous operation that involved many roadblocks.

“It was an extensive process to get here,” Salazar said. “We’ve had to go through a lot of difficulties to get here today.”

Despite those struggles, the family never lost hope that they’d make it to see their son play in the majors. They arrived on Friday.

“It never crossed our minds that we were not going to be able to be here,” his father said. “We know that in order to make things happen we have to confront difficulties and that’s why we’re here today.”

So how did Alvarez, who has long spoke of his desire for his family to see him play, respond when he learned that they’d finally be watching him after such a long wait?

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The parents of Houston Astros' Yordan Alvarez, Agustín Eduardo Álvarez Salazar, rear, and Mailyn Cadogan Reyes walk to their seats to watch the Minnesota Twins and Houston Astros play a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022, in Houston. Alvarez's parents got to see him play as a professional for the first time Tuesday night after arriving from Cuba Friday.

The parents of Houston Astros’ Yordan Alvarez, Agustín Eduardo Álvarez Salazar, rear, and Mailyn Cadogan Reyes walk to their seats to watch the Minnesota Twins and Houston Astros play a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022, in Houston. Alvarez’s parents got to see him play as a professional for the first time Tuesday night after arriving from Cuba Friday.
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

“He was just happy and excited because we were all waiting for this moment to come,” Salazar said.

Alvarez was moved to know how special it was for his parents to finally see him play after being away from them for so long.

“It means everything,” he said in Spanish through a translator. “Obviously, when I came into the United States it was not easy. And when I arrived here, I arrived by myself. I knew I had their support, but obviously they weren’t here.”

Alvarez defected from Cuba in 2016 and established residence in Haiti before signing with the Dodgers as an international free agent in June of that year. That August he was traded to the Astros. He made his MLB debut in June 2019 and went on to win American League Rookie of the Year.

His parents missed that stellar rookie season as well as his two trips to the World Series. They said the last time they saw him play in person came all the way back in 2014.

Alvarez said he was the most nervous he’d ever been in a game Tuesday night, even more than in any game of either World Series he’s played in.

While they were away from their son they worried a bit of course, but they didn’t have too many concerns because they knew there was an entire community keeping an eye on the 25-year-old.

“I want to thank Houston because … they have adopted Yordan as their own kid,” his father said. “And that’s something that makes us feel safe and in peace. And I’m glad for that.”

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His father beamed as he watched his son’s first at-bat Tuesday. For his mother the entire night was a bit too much.

When reminded of a game earlier this year when Alvarez called her back home to say he’d hit a homer for her on her birthday, she became overcome with emotion and wept openly — wiping away tear after tear as they streamed down her face.

“I’m just proud,” his mother said. “And this is a feeling that only a mom knows what it feels like. I don’t have words to express what I’m feeling right now and what is going through my mind right now.”

It was easy to see how proud Alvarez’s parents are of their son, who entered Tuesday tied for third in the majors with 31 homers. And although they’re thrilled with his success on the field, they’re equally excited for who he is off it.

“The first thing that makes us feel proud is the human being that he has become, that we raised such a good kid,” Salazar said. “Since he was a kid, we saw the talent that he has, but we never thought or imagined how far he was going to go and how far he has been able to get to. So, we’re just asking God to bless him and maintain his health.”

The parents of Houston Astros' Yordan Alvarez, Agustín Eduardo Álvarez Salazar, left, and Mailyn Cadogan Reyes watch the Minnesota Twins and Houston Astros play a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022, in Houston. Alvarez's parents got to see him play as a professional for the first time Tuesday night after arriving from Cuba Friday.

The parents of Houston Astros’ Yordan Alvarez, Agustín Eduardo Álvarez Salazar, left, and Mailyn Cadogan Reyes watch the Minnesota Twins and Houston Astros play a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022, in Houston. Alvarez’s parents got to see him play as a professional for the first time Tuesday night after arriving from Cuba Friday.
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

For now, the family is staying with Alvarez at his home in Houston. They aren’t sure how long they’ll get to stay. But for however long it is they’re soaking up every moment.

“Hopefully they stay here forever,” Alvarez said after the game.

Asked what the long-awaited night meant to them, both mother and father responded almost in unison with the same phrase.

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“Un sueño hecho realidad,” they said in Spanish.

Translation: A dream come true.



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Mercedes driver in 13 crashes before Windsor Hills, D.A. says


The nurse accused of killing five people last week when her Mercedes plowed into traffic at a busy Windsor Hills intersection had been involved in 13 previous crashes, Los Angeles County prosecutors alleged Monday in charging her with murder.

Authorities revealed new details about Thursday’s crash and about the driver, Nicole Lorraine Linton, 37, whose permanent address is in Texas and who is currently renting a room in Los Angeles while working as a traveling registered nurse.

Prosecutors said they are reviewing multiple previous crashes linked to Linton — both in and out of California — including one in 2020 that involved bodily injury in which two cars were totaled. They provided few additional details, however.

Linton’s attorney, Halim Dhanidina, asked the court Monday to continue her arraignment to October because he is reviewing her out-of-state history of “documented profound mental health issues.” Dhanidina did not elaborate on those issues but said the Windsor Hills crash could be linked to them.

Here’s what we know:

The crash

CHP officials walk around a scene of incinerated wrecked cars

California Highway Patrol officers investigate a fiery crash where multiple people were killed near a Windsor Hills gas station on Thursday.

(Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times)

Surveillance video just before Thursday’s deadly crash shows a dark-colored Mercedes barreling down La Brea Avenue at high speed as dozens of cars cross on Slauson Avenue in Windsor Hills. Prosecutors say Linton was behind the wheel.

The Mercedes does not appear to slow before running a red light shortly after 1:30 p.m. The light had been red for nine seconds before the car barreled through the intersection, slamming into multiple cars, prosecutors said. The Mercedes burst into flames and hurtled into a light pole, where it came to rest. After the crash, a streak of fire burned on the ground, and billowing smoke could be seen from miles away.

Prosecutors say Linton was speeding as fast as 90 mph.

At least six vehicles were involved in the crash, according to California Highway Patrol investigators. In addition to the fatalities, eight people were injured.

Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón said there is no evidence of any alcohol use by Linton at this point.

In announcing charges against her Monday, he declined to discuss what led to the crash, saying it was still under investigation and he was “not going to get into the details.”

The aftermath

Candles, balloons, and flowers have been left at the site of a deadly crash

Candles, balloons and flowers at a street memorial to victims of a deadly crash at the intersection of La Brea and Slauson avenues in Windsor Hills.

(Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times)

The impact of the crash and fire it caused killed 23-year-old Asherey Ryan; her 11-month-old child, Alonzo Quintero; her boyfriend, Reynold Lester; and their unborn child. Ryan was 8½ months pregnant when she was killed. The boy she was carrying had been named Armani Lester, according to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.

Two additional women killed in the crash have yet to be identified.

Linton was hospitalized with moderate injuries for several days before being taken into police custody.

Photographs posted online after the crash appear to show Linton sitting on the curb with a bloody arm. She seems to be wearing hospital scrub pants and a shirt that has writing on the breastplate and sleeve.

Images from the scene show massive front-end damage to the Mercedes, which rammed headfirst into a light pole. A law enforcement source told The Times that Linton suffered a broken foot and broken wrist in the collision, but the car’s advanced air bag systems for a front-end collision seems to have protected her from the worst of the impact.

A specialized CHP accident investigation team is extracting data from the Mercedes’ computers that capture speed, braking and acceleration.

The charges

Linton was charged Monday with six counts of murder and five counts of gross vehicular manslaughter. The vehicular manslaughter charges are for the deaths of the four adults and the baby, who was about two weeks shy of his first birthday. Ryan’s unborn child cannot be included in those charges.

Linton faces up to life in prison if convicted of all charges.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Natalie Stone denied her bail, which previously had been set at $9 million, at the request of the district attorney’s office, which said she is a flight risk. Linton was set to leave L.A. and travel to Hawaii for work, prosecutors said.





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US: Biden signs order to protect travel for abortion | News | DW


US President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed another executive order to protect abortion rights, this time in regards to out of state travel for the procedure.

It’s the latest bid by the Biden administration to ensure access to abortions after the Supreme Court ruled in June to end the nationwide constitutional right to abortion.

What does the order do?

The order will allow states which have not banned abortion to apply for Medicaid funds. This money can then be used to support women who travel from out of state, and facilitate their access to an abortion. 

The application of the order could be tricky, as Medicaid funds are not to be used for abortion services unless the woman’s life is in jeopardy or the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.  

The order also urges healthcare providers to comply with federal non-discrimination laws in regards to medical care.

The latest executive order on abortion by Biden comes amid Republican-led efforts across the country to outlaw and restrict access to the procedure. The recent Supreme Court reversal on Roe v. Wade struck down the constitutional right to an abortion, leaving it up to the states to decide whether it should be legal.

Biden hails Kansas abortion vote 

Biden on Wednesday also touted a major pro-choice victory in Kansas.

Kansans a day earlier voted against amending the state constitution to say there is no right to an abortion. The vote is unusual in a state that leans highly conservative.

“Last night in the American heartland, the people of Kansas sent an unmistakable message to the Republican extremists,” Biden said. “If it’s going to happen in Kansas, it’s going to happen in a whole lot of states.”      

In other parts of the country, abortion rights are still under attack, however. In several weeks, the western state of Idaho will enact a near-total ban on abortion, with the Biden administration suing over the measure.

The Midwestern state of Indiana also recently advanced a near-total ban in the state Senate, with the legislation now headed for debate in the state’s House of Representatives this week. 

wd/rs (Reuters, AP)





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