Eddy Alvarez, who won the silver medal for the U.S. in speed skating at the 2014 Olympics, made his debut for the Miami Marlins on Wednesday night
Eddy Alvarez, who won the silver medal for the U.S. in speed skating at the 2014 Olympics, made his debut for the Miami Marlins on Wednesday night in the team’s win against the Baltimore Orioles.
Alvarez started at second base for the Marlins but was 0-for-3 with a strikeout. The Marlins still picked up the 1-0 victory to improve to 4-1.
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He is believed to be the first Olympic medalist, outside the sport of baseball, to play in a Major League Baseball game since Jim Thorpe. He told MLB.com in 2019 he refocused his efforts on playing baseball after the 2014 Games.
“When I picked up a bat for the first time, it was heavy,” Alvarez said. “It felt like home. I really missed it. I knew I wanted to give it a go. I didn’t know it was going to be professionally right away. I’m one of those people that always told myself that I didn’t want to have any regret doing anything in my athletic career. I did quit skating at the peak of my career to try and basically start over again at a different sport. I knew that if I didn’t try that, I would regret it.”
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Alvarez failed to qualify for the 2010 Vancouver Games but made the U.S. team for Sochi. He didn’t medal in three individual races but won silver in the 5000-meter relay.
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He joined the Chicago White Sox organization in 2014 and found himself in the Marlins’ system in 2019. In 213 minor league games, he was hitting .278 with a .788 OPS and 40 home runs. Miami called him up because the team had been short of players due to their coronavirus outbreak.