The newest member of the Toronto Blue Jays overcame a devasting, life-altering tragedy in 2016 when his wife tragically lost her battle with cancer.
Yangervis Solarte is a fighter, a stand-up human being on and off the field who doesn’t know what the word quit means. The native of Venezuela and father of three daughters has played 681 games in the minor league ranks, however, nothing could have prepared Solarte for what he would endure in September of 2016.
Solarte’s wife Yuliett was diagnosed with tumors on her liver after their third daughter was born two months early in 2015. The 31-year old mother of three battled and fought her cancer until it eventually took her life in late 2016 while her husband was in the midst of a career year on the baseball diamond.
Solarte would leave the Padres leading up to his wife’s death to care for the mother of her children as she knocked on death’s door. A week following her death, Solarte returned to the game he had grown to love in an attempt to add some normality back into his life.
"“Everything was for her,” Solarte said. “She always told me that whether she dies or doesn’t die, I can’t stop playing. Because all the goals I set for myself, they were for our daughters, and I had to be able to assure their future. So no matter what happens, (she said) I need to continue to play.”"
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It is truly remarkable to think about what Solarte has overcome in his personal life and still been able to remain a productive player and great teammate through it all. It is really a testament to his character and the type of the person the Blue Jays just acquired yesterday in exchange for Edward Olivares and Jared Carkuff.
General Manager Ross Atkins spoke about the versatilyt that Solarte privides the Jays as well about the great reputation Solarte has in the clubhouse. See full conversation from the GM below:
I have a feeling Solarte will instantly become a fan favourite with the Blue Jays faithful north of the border and for good reason.