The National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation (INDER) announced this Friday the appointment of Juan Reinaldo Pérez Pardo as the new national baseball commissioner, a position that was vacant after the death of Ernesto Reynoso Piñeiro last April 27, victim of the coronavirus in Cuba.
With a degree in Physical Culture and Sports, a Master’s in Higher Education Sciences and a Doctor in Physical Culture Sciences, Pérez Pardo is a specialist in baseball. According to the official portal HitAt 49 years of age, the new commissioner has extensive experience in teaching, science and management.
As a member of the INDER Technical Advisory Council, Pérez Pardo has had an active participation in the national strategy of the Cuban ball. In addition, he has experience as a baseball and softball coach, and has served since 2016 as the national commissioner of the latter sport.
“His mission will be to give continuity to the commendable work carried out by our always beloved Ernesto Reynoso Piñeiro, unfortunately who died on April 27 due to complications derived from covid-19,” the publication said.
Considered the national sport in Cuba, baseball has been undergoing a slow decline in recent years, with a significant drain on fans, empty stadiums during the pandemic, but semi-empty in series prior to the arrival of the coronavirus.
The elimination of Cuba in the baseball pre-Olympic Held at the end of May in Florida, it culminated in the decline suffered by this sport on the island, which, added to the generalized crisis that plagues the country, has catalyzed the escape of Cuban players and the number of those who drop out in international competitions.
The deaths by coronavirus of Reynoso and of the president of the Cuban Baseball Federation, Higinio Velez, they left the main institutions of Cuban ball headless. With the arrival of Pérez Pardo to the position, a revitalization of the same is expected. For its part, INDER indicated that after the appointment, a new direction will be appointed for the National Softball Commission, which will be informed later.
Both Reynoso and Vélez would have been infected as part of an outbreak of the disease that affected officials and workers of the Latin American Stadium, headquarters of the National Baseball Commission, at the beginning of the year during the preparation of the Cuba team with a view to the Pre-Olympic of the Americas, and which was revealed by the media independents before the silence of the official press silenced these events.
With the elimination suffered in the Florida Baseball Pre-Olympic, Cuba was absent for the first time from this competition in which it debuted at the Barcelona 1992 games, when the Cuban representation obtained the gold medal. Afterwards, Cuba repeated its triumph in Atlanta 1996 and Athens 2004, and was runner-up in Sydney 2000 and Beijing 2008.
Days before leaving for Florida, imitating the harangues of Fidel Castro, the ruler Miguel Diaz-Canel met with the technical team and the players to ask them for a victory that “we need so much, and that it is a process in which we will all continue to be very committed and very involved, to return once again to the stellar planes in this sport “.
“This comes in handy at a time (…), when we are in a process of rescuing the results of Cuban baseball, when the people are eager to once again have a sounded victory in international events,” he added.
It was not like that, to the sadness of the Cuban fans, and the displeasure of the rulers. As evident as the decline of national sport on the island, the Florida Baseball Pre-Olympic also left indelible images of widespread rejection that the regime provokes among its emigrants and the fervor that it has awakened in Cuban civil society that demands rights and freedoms at the cry of Homeland and Life.