Professional baseball player. Starting catcher for the Detroit Tigers. Starting catcher in the 2011 All-Star Game. At only 25, Alex Avila has already created a terrific career. Yet, he is very mindful of what might have been.
In a recent interview, Avila notes that his Cuban roots could have led to a very different life for him and his family:
Both of my grandfathers actually fled from Cuba during the Communist Revolution in the 1950s, so it’s not surprising that they share in Tommy’s [Lasorda, former manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers] conservative political outlook. When your own government won’t allow you to participate in the most basic freedoms — freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom to own private property — then you want to come to a country where such things are allowed. We take those freedoms for granted, but they aren’t automatic anywhere, even here, unless we work to preserve them.
If my grandfathers hadn’t escaped from Cuba, they may not have survived, and the same is true with my parents, who were very young at the time.
Avila also credits his family’s strong Catholic faith and his father’s gentle support for his success.
Lord Acton said, “…at all times sincere friends of freedom have been rare…” It appears that Avila is one of those sincere friends.
Read the entire Avila interview here.