Texas Rangers

Andrus’ whirlwind 24 hours away from Rangers has happy ending: ‘I’m an American now’

Elvis Andrus looked like a guy who had flown round trip from San Francisco to Dallas-Fort Worth within 24 hours, but there was something different Friday night about the Texas Rangers shortstop.

Andrus, a Venezuela native, is now a U.S. citizen.

He was sworn in earlier Friday in Dallas after taking the final steps in the naturalization process, including answering six questions correctly about U.S. civics and history.

Applicants are allowed to miss four questions. Andrus went 6 for 6, but it wasn’t easy.

“I was really nervous,” Andrus said of taking the citizenship oath. “When I was repeating, I was like, ‘Let me slow down. This thing is a lot more nerve-racking than playing baseball for sure.’ I never felt like this.”

Andrus is the fourth and final member of his immediate family to gain citizenship after his wife, Cori, became a naturalized citizen and his two children were born in the U.S. His mother has her residency card, and his brother Erickson was granted political asylum.

Andrus said that he first came to the U.S. at age 15, signed with the Atlanta Braves at 16, and received his residency card at age 25. His journey to becoming an American ended Friday.

“It’s been a long day for me, but I’m really happy and really blessed and honored to become a citizen today,” he said “The whole day went really well. They treated me really nice. They gave me some tough questions, but I studied a lot the last week. Everything was really amazing, and I really had fun there. I’m an American now.

“Coming here at 15 from Venezuela, a lot of memories came back. The journey’s been amazing. Today is a day to always remember.”

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After 11 seasons covering the Rangers for the Star-Telegram, Jeff Wilson knows that baseball is a 24/7/365 business and there is far more to baseball than just the 162 games each season. There’s also more to Jeff -- like a family and impressive arsenals of Titleist hats and adidas shoes -- but sometimes it’s hard to tell.