During a pre-game preview show for the Chicago White Sox’s televised Sunday game against the Detroit Tigers, former Major League Baseball player and manager Ozzie Guillen teared up when he remembered the day in 2006 that he became a United States citizen and became emotional when he discussed the opportunities the United States has provided for him and his family.
As noted by the Daily Caller, Guillen was born in Venezuela and became an American citizen in 2006. Guillen had a notable 16-year career as a major league player, winning the Rookie of the Year award in 1985, the golden glove award for shortstops in 1990, and garnering three all-star game selections. He spent most of his career as a player for the White Sox and then managed the White Sox from 2004-2011, leading the White Sox to their first World Series title in almost 90 years in 2005. He was named AL Manager of the year in 2005.
An emotional Ozzie Guillén reflects on the day he became an American citizen in 2006.
“It’s special. People don’t… https://t.co/2zaxyaHAif
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During the interview, Guillen reacted to a clip of him receiving his American citizenship with visible emotion, causing host Chuck Garfien to exclaim, “You’re really emotional right now. Why are you so emotional?”
Guillen responded, “I don’t know. Opportunities, man… Opportunities opened the door for me being great. I’ve been living in this country for a long time – me and my family, at great cost. It opened the door for them to be who they are.”
Guillen said that it was a “great honor” and “special” for him that he was able to become an American.
Guillen previously made waves in 2012 when he made comments that incensed the Cuban community in South Florida by making comments that praised Cuban communist dictator Fidel Castro. Guillen, who had just been hired to manage the Florida Marlins, said in an interview that he “loved” and “respected” Castro, which led the team to suspend him for five games.
Guillen’s relationship with his home country of Venezuela, and its politics — especially the former dictator Hugo Chavez — has been somewhat complicated. In 2005, Guillen said that he was “proud” of Chavez after his bombastic comments about then-president George W. Bush; however, in 2012, he said that he would rather be dead than vote for Chavez.