Tampa man and father to take emotional journey back to Cuba, witness historic Rays game

Felipe and Mario R. Nunez. Family photo

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Mario R. Núñez is a Tampa native. His father was born in Ybor City in 1928, but their family roots are in Cuba.

“We are descendants from those great early settlers who came from Havana, through Key West in what is now known as Ybor City and helped develop the cigar industry,” said Núñez.

His father Felipe hasn’t been back to Cuba in decades.

“He was there last in 1945 as a 17 year old kid, he’s 87,” said Núñez.

So, he planned to take his father back and then he learned they may be witness to history. They plan to be at the Tampa Bay Rays baseball game as they play the Cuban national team.

President Obama is also now planning to be at that game.

“The fact that we are going to be in the stadium, partaking in the baseball game that’s going to be historic in it’s own right and then have the President throwing out the first pitch. What could be better than that?” said Núñez.

Núñez also hopes to take his father to a cemetary in Havana to look for the grave of his great grandfather.

“Sometimes the universe conspires with you man. Sometimes you know you ask, and you do receive and this is one of those magical Serendipitous moments. We’re just going to be in the right place at the right time,” said Núñez.



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