Eddy Alvarez was named as a flag bearer for the United States on Wednesday July 21. He will share the honor with women’s basketball player Sue Bird.
Few athletes ever go to the Olympics and even fewer get to honor their home country as flag bearers in the opening ceremony. For the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, Team USA selected baseball player Eddy Alvarez, 31, and basketball player, Sue Bird, 40, to carry the honor for their team on Friday July 23. Being a flag bearer is an incredible privilege for both athletes.
— Eddy Alvarez (@eddyalvarez90) July 21, 2021
The Miami native tweeted about his excitement to get to play for the United States and be a flag bearer during Friday’s ceremony. “Thank you to everyone that honored me with this privilege! I will wave our colors proudly,” he tweeted along with the announcement. Here are five things you should know about Eddy!
1. Eddy Is An Olympic Silver Medalist
Baseball isn’t the only sport that Eddy excels at. Growing up, one of his earliest loves was speed-skating. Eddie competed at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi as a speed-skater for the U.S. team, where he won a silver medal. Eddy had tried out for the speed-skating team in 2010, but didn’t make the team at the Olympic Trials. After winning the silver, Eddy called speed-skating a “a young man’s game,” and said baseball was his “main priority” in a 2014 interview with TeamUSA.org.
Eddy is one of only 11 Americans to ever compete in both Summer and Winter Olympic games. If he wins a medal at the Tokyo Olympics, he’ll become the six athlete in history (from any country) to ever win medals in multiple sports, via MLB.
2. Eddy Plays For The Miami Marlins’ AAA Team
Eddy started his professional baseball career in 2014, playing for the Chicago White Sox’s minor-league teams. He played for a variety of the Chicago team’s minor league clubs and moved throughout the ranks of different levels. He finished his time with the White Sox organization with their Triple-A team, the Charlotte Knights. He was traded to the Miami Marlins organization in 2019. He currently plays for the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, one of the Marlins’ Triple-A affiliates. It seems like baseball runs in his family. Eddy’s older brother Nick also played minor-league ball for seven-years, according to TeamUSA.org.
3. Eddy Made His MLB Debut In 2020
Eddie finally got to suit-up for the major leagues in 2020. He played 12 games with the Miami Marlins, starting on August 5, 2020. During his brief time on the team, he took 37 at bats, had seven hits, and scored 6 runs, via MLB. Even though he was sent back to Triple-A, being a minor-leaguer is why he’s in the Olympics in the first place. MLB players, who are part of a team’s 40-player roster, aren’t allowed to compete in the Olympic games for baseball.
4. Playing In The Olympics Is A Bigger Deal To Eddy Than The MLB
Eddy said that he’s not concerned about missing out on the chance to suit-up for an MLB team again while playing for Team USA, in an interview with the MLB. He called playing for the Olympic team a “no-brainer” and said that it has “more meaning at the moment for me.”
The infielder also said that making the Team USA baseball team had been a running joke in his family”It’s something me and my parents always joked about,” he said. “‘What if I make it to the Olympics in baseball too?’ The fact that could become a reality is pretty nuts. Just super excited. It’s an absolute dream come true of mine to be a dual-sport Olympian.”
5. Eddy Is Married And Has One Son
Eddy is married to Miami Realtor Gaby Alvarez. The couple announced that they were expecting a baby in February 2020 on Instagram. The pair adorably held a tiny Miami Marlins jersey. Their son, Jett, made his debut, shortly after Eddy first stepped up to the plate for the Marlins. Eddy announced that he’d been born in an August 21, 2020 Instagram post. Hopefully, Jett will get to see his dad win a gold medal this year!