CLEVELAND -- Not even a cold, rainy day could hinder Carlos Santana's joyful smile.
The Cleveland Indians first baseman was sworn in as a U.S. citizen Friday, taking the oath with 83 others while his two young daughters fought for his attention. Afterward, Santana beamed with pride.
"Thanks, Cleveland, for giving me an opportunity," said Santana, who was born in the Dominican Republic. "This is my residence, my city, and I'm proud and happy for that. Thank God I'm an American."
Santana left Cleveland as a free agent to sign with Philadelphia after the 2017 season, then returned in a trade last December.
Santana and teammate Hanley Ramirez recently passed the required test to become citizens. Before Santana took the oath, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas M. Parker asked the new citizens to observe others in the room.
"Look around," Parker said. "Look how different this group of people is. This is a beautiful picture."
Santana, who has had a strong start this season with Indians, admitted some nervousness when he first arrived in the U.S. after he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2004.
"I was really scared when I came here," he said. "But now everything is positive, and I'm happy and excited."