Iglesias rejoins Tigers after riding out hurricane

Iglesias rejoins Tigers after riding out hurricane

CLEVELAND -- Jose Iglesias was all smiles as he walked into the Tigers' clubhouse at Progressive Field on Wednesday morning. He was a proud papa for the second time, but he was also back with his team after a harrowing experience at home in Miami.

Iglesias arrived there in time to welcome his son, Alvaro Jose, nearly a week ago. But as Hurricane Irma approached, they had to evacuate the hospital where his wife, Arlene, gave birth.

"They evacuated the whole building," Iglesias said, "so we had to leave the hospital a lot sooner than we expected."

Their home is on the water, so simply going back there wasn't a smart option. The family ended up traveling about 40 minutes to safer ground, staying at a hotel. With a wife recovering from labor, plus two young kids, it wasn't an easy trek.

"She was in pain, and we had to help her out and the kids," Iglesias said. "It was a big situation, but everything's fine. Everything went well. That was the best scenario."

Needless to say, a standard three-day stay on the paternity leave list wasn't going to be enough. Even if Iglesias could get his family settled, getting out of South Florida was going to take time, with flights sold out, people scrambling to leave and airports closing. The Tigers gave him all the time he needed, telling him to focus on his family.

The family rode out the storm in the hotel, then checked out the situation at home. They lost electricity and had fallen trees, but there was no structural damage.

"I was just focused on the safety of my family," Iglesias said. "Just driving around, no gas, no power -- it was crazy. We were pretty lucky [that the storm] moved to the west a little bit. It didn't hit Miami the way it was supposed to, but it still caused damage down there. It was just not fun, but everybody down there is together and helping each other out."

Iglesias caught a flight out Tuesday night once airports reopened. He was back in the Tigers' lineup at shortstop Wednesday.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.