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Bay becomes American citizen

FRIDAY, JULY 3, 2009

Baseball: Boston Red Sox left fielder Jason Bay married an American, has two American daughters and makes his living playing America’s pastime.

Now he can say he’s an American, too.

The 30-year-old from Trail, British Columbia, was among 360 people to become U.S. citizens Thursday in a naturalization ceremony at Faneuil Hall in Boston.

Dressed in a suit, Bay blended into the diverse group of immigrants holding postcard-sized flags who took the oath administered by a U.S. District Court judge.

Bay joined two military men and about a dozen children of newly sworn-in citizens to lead the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance. One little boy donned a special Red Sox T-shirt with Bay’s No. 44 decorated with red and white stripes and blue and white stars.

“I already knew it, but I wanted to make sure I didn’t mess it up in front of all those people,” Bay said, admitting some jitters. “I didn’t want the kids to upstage me.”

The new American citizen is still proud of his heritage from across the border.

“I don’t denounce being Canadian at any point, but I’m definitely proud to be an American,” said Bay, who played at North Idaho College and Gonzaga University.

Bay, who is batting .262 this season, came to Boston from the Pittsburgh Pirates last season. He was joined by his wife, Kristen, at the ceremony.

Associated Press

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