Cuba Strikes Gold with its First Caribbean Series Crown in More Than a Half-Century

A spirited 2014 Cuban National Series champion Pinar del Río ball club, reinforced with some of the Caribbean island’s biggest stars, staged a rather stunning comeback in San Juan on the final weekend of Caribbean Series #57 and thus made history in the process. The inspired win erased the deep disappointments of last year’s long-awaited return to Caribbean Series competition, where the country had not appeared since a 1960 title by the professional league Cienfuegos Elefantes closed out the First Stage of the annual winter league championships.

Cuba Announces Team for Caribbean Baseball Series

Vegueros de Pinar del Río

Represented by last season’s champs, Pinar del Rio, the Cuban Baseball Federation announced the team to play in the Caribbean Series in Puerto Rico this coming Feb. 2-8.

The series involves teams from Venezuela, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Cuba. The teams are allowed to stack their squads with top players from other teams in their respective local leagues.

54th National Series: Granma Stops Artemisa

Urmaris Guerra

Urmani Guerra went 3-for-3 with a trio of RBIs to lead the Granma Horses to a 12-2 romp over the Artemisa Hunters Wednesday afternoon in Cuban National Series action.

The Horses roughed up Artemisa starter Jose Luis Padron (1-2) early with four runs in the opening frame, and chased the right-hander with another four-run frame in the third.

Cuban League’s Expanded Player Draft

For the third straight year of split-season league play, Cuba held its nationally televised player dispersal draft on Christmas night, this time with a new wrinkle. For this year’s National Series #54 edition the mid-year selection of reinforcement players from the eight eliminated teams was expanded from five to seven rounds and thus also from the original 40 to a new total of 56 ballplayers.

MLB Waiting for Opportunities in Cuba

 Major League Baseball authorities are closely following the agreement reached by Cuba and the United States to re-establish diplomatic relations, though the embargo will continue to prevent Cuban baseball players from reaching the league in a normal, straightforward way.

“MLB is closely following the White House announcement,” the US League declared Wednesday through a communiqué, adding it did not have enough details about the decision to offer an assessment.