Earlier in the week, Miami Marlins starter Henderson Alvarez had to bring his wife and baby daughter to Miami ahead of schedule, due to the political unrest taking place in his native Venezuela. Alvarez has had six people from his hometown die due to the unrest. Briana, his two month old daughter developed respiratory issues as a result of tear gas shot near the family’s Caracas residence.
“They were going to stay another month in Venezuela, but I had to get them out of there because of an emergency,” Alvarez said. “The baby was being affected by the tear gas. That was the second time. With only two months old, that odor is too strong. I couldn’t take it anymore and I sent for them.”
On Saturday, at the Marlins camp, Alvarez and several Marlins teammates posed for pictures while holding the Venezuelan flag. Some of the players held up handwritten signs with the word “Paz” (or Peace in Spanish).
“With the picture, I’m hoping to send a message to Venezuela to have peace,” Alvarez said. “To leave the violence behind.”
“My daughter is the one who was affected. She was affected by tear gas — twice — so I sent for her,” Alvarez said. “I sent for her and my wife to go to Miami.”
Hopefully the message the Tigers sent on Friday and the Marlins sent on Saturday does not go unnoticed. Baseball is extremely popular in Venezuela. Alvarez hopes the popularity of the sport and players plea for peace helps end some of the violence ongoing in his country.
“As baseball players, our message has more of a potential to [reach people],” Alvarez said. “Detroit sent out a picture [on Friday].”
Knowing of political unrest in his own native country, Alvarez’s closest friend on the team, Jose Fernandez, also posed for the picture.