Puerto Rican baseball player Jack Lopez has applied to change his sports citizenship to the Puerto Rican Baseball Association (FBPR) to join the US team at the Tokyo Olympics.
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FBPR) reported on Wednesday that the request had been approved by the federal body, as well as by the World Federation of Baseball and Softball (WBSC), the body recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Lopez, 28, said he wanted to fulfill his dream of going to the Olympics and that the United States invited him, according to FBPR.
Indeed, on Friday, July 2, at 12 noon, the US team led by veteran manager Mike Sciocia will announce the roster for the Olympic tournament.
The United States withdrew its direct ticket to Japan after winning the Olympic qualifiers held in late May and early June in Florida.
In that competition, Puerto Rico did not qualify for the Super Cup after losing to the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. The duel against the United States was never played by the rain. Likewise, the party was academic, as Puerto Ricans were exterminated.
The original player for Río Piedras and WBSC has been informed by FBPR that the transfer is permanent. In other words, he will not have a chance to return to represent Puerto Rico.
Lopez wore the Puerto Rican uniform for the last time at the Premier 12 tournament in 2019.
The player belongs to the Boston Red Sox organization. The second baseman is currently active with the Worcester Red Sox in Triple A. This year he was also in Double A with Portland Sea Dogs.
His average hit this season is .339, with two homers and 27 RBIs in 36 games, 31 in Triple-A and five in Double A.
Lopez was active with the Mayaguez Indians in Roberto Clemente Pro League Baseball (Lbprc) and promoted Caguas Criollos in the latest Caribbean Series.
He was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 16th round of the 2011 Major League Baseball Rookie Draft.
Lopez was in the Kansas City organization until the 2018-19 season, when he was sent to the Atlanta Braves. In November 2020, he opted for a free agency and in January of this year he signed a secondary contract with Boston.
Baseball is returning to the Olympic program for the first time since 2008.
The US team won a gold medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics when baseball was a demonstration sport, while in the same event, Puerto Rico took bronze. He also won the gold medal in Sydney 2000 and bronze in Atlanta 1996 and Beijing 2008.
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