Pitcher José Ariel Contreras Camejo recently became the first Cuban “defector” in the major leagues to return to the island after relocating to the United States over a decade ago.
The pitcher has been seen and photographed training and meeting with fans in his hometown of Las Martinas, Pinar del Rio in Cuba.
Contreras denied having any problems entering the country to tend a family matter. The player’s brother, Humberto Demetrio, told NBC News that Contreras traveled to Cuba because his mother had undergone a limb amputation and was recovering in the Salvador Allende Hospital.
Contreras was in Mexico in 2002 when he defected to the United States to fulfill his dream of playing the U.S. Major Leagues. Since then he has played with the New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, and Chicago White Sox. In 2005, Contreras won a World Series while playing with the Chicago White Sox.