Phillies star pitcher Ranger Suarez overjoyed with overdue family reunion in America

Wed, Jun 19, 2024
MLB News (AP)

Phillies star pitcher Ranger Suarez overjoyed with overdue family reunion in America

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Ranger Suarez never had spent a Father's Day with his two young children. Stuck in Venezuela because of a complicated visa process, his wife never had left the country nor watched the left-hander pitch in person with the Philadelphia Phillies.

His family missed out on watching Suarez rise from a little-known teenage prospect that signed with the Phillies as an international free agent in 2012 to an ace and potential All-Star for the team in the National League with the best record.

No more.

At last, the family has been reunited in the United States.

Suarez picked up a no-decision and tossed six solid innings for the Phillies, who lost 5-2 to the San Diego Padres on Wednesday. The outcome almost didn't seem to matter for once to Suarez.

That's because his family cheered him on at Citizens Bank Park.

His wife, Joseany, and their two young children, Sofia and Dominick, sat behind the plate and gave Suarez all the reasons he needed to smile in the clubhouse following a start nearly a decade in the making.

"I am very excited to go home and see them, hug them, talk with them, play with them," Suarez said through an interpreter.

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"I saw them before the game and it's a totally different feeling. Very cool," he said.

The 28-year-old Suarez, who was raised in Pies de Cuesta, Venezuela, has enjoyed a breakout season with the Phillies and helped lead them to a 49-25 record.

He is 10-1 with a 1.75 ERA - one of just four Phillies starting pitchers since the stat became official in 1912 to boast an ERA of 1.75 or lower through their first 15 starts.

Suarez has been touted as a front-runner to start the All-Star Game for the National League next month in Texas.

"If they call me for the All-Star Game, I would definitely go and bring my family," he said. "That would be a great experience to play my first All-Star Game and bring them."

Suarez and Joseany were married in the offseason in part to aid the process of helping her obtain the visa needed to bring the family to the United States. The couple share 6-year-old Sofia and 3-year-old Dominick. Joseany and the children watched the Phillies play on TV and cheered on Suarez as helped lead the team to the World Series in 2022 and the NL Championship Series last season. Suarez knows how much it would mean to everyone if the entire family could enjoy another postseason run.

"Every time I pitch, and even when I don't, they always watch Phillies games and are cheering for us," he said. "The little one really likes it, they both do."

The only part better for Suarez than having his family at the game was having it all together for the first time on Father's Day.

"Happy, very happy. We were excited because they arrived on Father's Day," he said. "Since they were born, I have never been with them on Father's Day, so it made me very excited when they arrived at the house. Very happy."

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DAN GELSTON Gelston is an an Associated Press sports writer covering major college and pro sports in Philadelphia, including the 76ers, Flyers, Eagles, Phillies and Villanova. twitter mailto "
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