By Yasel Porto
A few days ago he called me by phone to tell me that he was in the Dominican Republic in the process of obtaining a United States visa and today I received the communication with the good news of his approval so that he could participate in one of the most transcendental events in baseball. world.
I am talking about the legendary former pitcher and coach from Pinar del Río Juan Carlos Oliva López, who traveled this afternoon from Miami with his wife Mirta Juana Ordaz after receiving the visa to enter the United States in the morning.
Juan Carlos will be able to reunite with his brother Tony after many years without seeing each other, and that will happen no less than at the same time that the former Minnesota Twins outfielder will be officially inducted into the Hall of Fame of Cooperstown, United States.
The ceremony will take place on July 24 and another stellar gardener will also be inducted into the sublime venue, such as the late Orestes “Minnie” Miñoso from Matanzas.
Of course, the event, where other activities will take place from Saturday the 23rd, will have the fundamental incentive beyond the Cuban environment, the presence of the charismatic Dominican slugger David “Big Papi” Ortiz (the only one chosen on this occasion through the Regular Committee).
The procedure for Juan Carlos and his lifelong partner (44 years of relationship) was carried out by the Twins in coordination with the Hall of Fame itself, but due to the current situation with the United States Embassy in Havana, it had to have the process done in Dominican territory.
Both will spend a few days in the so-called capital of the sun (in the Coral Gables area) before embarking on a trip to Minnesota, where their brother Tony has lived for decades.
Upon arriving at the National Series, he alternated the tasks of starter and reliever, the latter aspect in which he became the best in the country for several years. Even to the extreme of being a member of the national team with that responsibility and even with the enormous level that existed in Cuba.
His moment of stardom coincided with the stage in which Pinar del Río ceased to be a weak province to become the most dominant on the entire Island. It was the time of that masterful pitching staff in which, in addition to Oliva, figures such as Rogelio García, Félix Pino, Maximiliano Gutiérrez, Julio Romero and Félix Pino, among others.
After his retirement and leaving behind a brilliant career as a pitcher, the native of Consolación del Sur began to stand out as a pitching coach, with a regular presence in the National Series and beyond Cuban borders.
However, it is the first time that Juan Carlos travels to the United States, and it could not be a more special occasion than the officialization of Tony as one of the “immortals” of the best baseball in the world.
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LAST MINUTE: Cuban baseball legend RECEIVED VISA and traveled to the United States today for a big event