Shortly after the death of the once-stellar shortstop Giraldo Gonzalez, the coronavirus epidemic has claimed the life of another legend of Pinar del Río baseball, former pitcher Reinaldo Costa.
An indisputable figure of the national mounds in the eighties, Costa (62 years old) had spent several days in critical condition at the León Cuervo provincial hospital.
Member of a family of athletes where the high jumper Silvia Costa and the volleyball player Marlenis Costa excel, The recently deceased pitcher showed off a lateral style marked by an efficient fastball, a magnificent slider and an exquisite base turn system.
Limited by injuries, his career was summed up in twelve seasons of 110 wins and 67 failures, with a 3.13 ERA and 815 strikeouts.
From an interview that I did years ago are these lessons of wisdom that I reproduce now, as a tribute to the unforgettable streamer who just said goodbye.
A pitcher can have very good speed and technical movements, but if he has no control, that is where he is. I work a lot with the control of my pitchers. And it is also good for pitchers to hit and make their swings, because that way they know closely the damage that a given pitch can do, such as the change of the ball, the hit fastball or out. Thus they suffer in their own flesh what the batter suffers.
I don’t like to compare eras, and I think that now there are quality pitchers too, but I think they lack confidence. The confidence of the pitcher depends on technical-tactical thinking and that he himself knows how to find his place in the team’s pitching staff. I don’t know if he is doing good or bad, but the result is not being good. In recent years we have not seen a pitcher on the national team that makes us think: “This is for sure.” However, in the National Series they seem unbeatable.
If a pitcher manages to shoot through all three angles of departure, in a controlled manner, it becomes extremely effective because it is like having three pitchers in one and each pitch is multiplied by three. Of course, I do not share the idea that some defend that the pitcher should throw over the arm: the three-quarter pitch is very difficult because it tends to move. And you see absurd things, like guys who do not dominate the fastball and want to throw a fork, or do not dominate the slider and want to throw the knuckle ball.
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