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07/08/08 7:53 PM ET

Polanco proud to become an American

Tigers second baseman to take citizenship oath Wednesday

DETROIT -- Placido Polanco has been an All-Star, a Gold Glove award-winner and a postseason Most Valuable Player. On Wednesday, he'll be able to add a new title -- U.S. citizen.

The Tigers will honor the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on Wednesday by holding a pregame ceremony in which U.S. District Court Judge Gerald E. Rosen will swear in 100 new American citizens. Polanco will be one of them. Before he takes his customary spot at second base, he'll take the oath.

It'll be the culmination of an adult life in the U.S. for the Dominican-born Polanco. He went to school at Miami-Dade Community College, where the Cardinals took notice and drafted him, and he splits his offseasons between Miami and the Dominican Republic.

"I've lived half of my life here," the 32-year-old Polanco said. "It's been 16 years. Went to school here. Work here. My kids were born here. They're all citizens."

His two children, daughter Aide Rose and son Ishmael, are citizens by birth. His wife, Lily, went through the naturalization process a few years ago to become a citizen.

Placido said he applied a few years ago, passed the exam and had been waiting for a security check.

"Everybody in my family is an American but me," Polanco said. "Tomorrow, I'll be one."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.