Chicago son surprises dad with baseball glove he has dreamed of since he left Cuba decades ago

ByDanny Clemens WPVI logo
Sunday, July 15, 2018
Son surprises dad with baseball glove he has wanted for 50 years
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Jose Riesco Sr. has had his eyes on a Wilson A2000 baseball glove ever since his family emigrated from Cuba in the 1960s. Nearly 50 years later, his son Juan-Elias made his dream come true with a heartfelt present decades in the making.

CHICAGO -- For nearly 50 years, Jose Riesco Sr. has had his eyes on a Wilson A2000 baseball glove.

It all began in the late 1960s when his family was preparing to emigrate from Cuba, a journey the then-9-year-old was initially not excited about.

"The Cuban military was known for making children who didn't want to leave Cuba stay with them and raise those children in the military," his son, Juan-Elias Riesco, told ABC. "In order to get my then-9-year-old father to stop crying and come to the USA with his mother and older sister, his mother promised she'd buy him the Wilson A2000 since he was such a baseball fanatic."

Though the family made it safely to the United States, life got in the way, and Riesco never got his coveted baseball glove -- until this weekend.

Fast forward to 2018, and Jose and his son now put in 60-hour work weeks at Nini's Deli, a Cuban restaurant they own in Chicago's West Town neighborhood.

Juan-Elias has long known the story of his father's journey to the United States. After he and his dad worked a 10-hour shift at Nini's on Saturday, Juan-Elias gave his father a birthday present decades in the making.

"Happy birthday!" a beaming Juan-Elias told his father before giving him an A2000, a gift that brought Jose to tears.

The pair shared a hug, and a bystander joked: "You can finally go back to Cuba now!"

Juan-Elias said he's long looked forward to the day he'd be able to buy his father the glove, which retails on Wilson's website for $259.95, though he knew he had to wait until he was in a good place financially to do so.

"This gift was not just a dream come true for my father, but also a life goal I had told myself I would accomplish, to be able to afford my father his favorite mitt," he said.

Though the glove has long been on his mind, he said his father had no idea the heartfelt gift was coming.

"He had zero idea. Totally a surprise," Juan-Elias said.