LIKE IT OR NOT: U23 gave Cuban baseball a ray of hope

By Pablo Pichardo

Many are the flavors that the Cuban fans have received over the last few years due to the poor performances left by the teams in the international arena. baseball who have represented the Greater Antilles.

This is why despite not having achieved the title, as fans of this sport are used to, the result obtained by the U23 team was a bit surprising both in the last World Championship held in Mexico and now in the first Pan American Games. Junior where they got up with the tanned metal.

Undoubtedly, the decades where our National team “walked” as a tournament was presented, and that is why today we will be investigating when that last great tournament was and the last medal that the group had with the four o’clock suit was letters.

Which teams made us hallucinate for the last time?

Throughout this decade (2011-2021), if a team managed to make the fans dream of a title, it was the team that represented us in the third World Baseball Classic held in 2013. That team under the tutelage of Víctor Mesa was made up of many of our top stars today in Big leagues (Yuli, Pito, Raisel, Tomas, Heredia) despite not reaching the semifinals made an entire country, regardless of the great time difference, sit in front of television to follow every detail in their performances.

But the things that this extraordinary sport has in store for us, in that tournament we managed to defeat the two-time Japanese champions for the first time in the initial round to conclude that journey undefeated, but we found in the Dutch a new “black beast” that had already snatched us the title in the World Championship held in Panama in 2011 and now it left us out of the semifinals against all odds.

In the same way, we should mention Alfonso Urquiola’s Vegueros with their title in the Caribbean Series held in 2015 on the grass of the Hiram Bithorn stadium. Those Vegueros achieved an extraordinary victory in the semifinals against the Caribes de Anzoátegui after losing the game 4-0 in five innings in which Fredrerich Cepeda from Spiritus took the palms by connecting four hits in five at-bats with five RBIs. In the Final, a great monticular task by Yosvani Torres for six innings together with the relief of Livan Moinelo and Héctor Mendoza gave us the crown where, in the same way, Yuliesky Gurriel’s home run against Juan Salvador Delgadillo in the eighth inning could not be forgotten.

How long did it take for Cuba to get another medal?

A long time to pass for Team Cuba to achieve another Medal in an international event and coincidentally, the Edgar Rentaría stadium would be the place where it would once again be able to climb the awards podium.

More than three years have passed since in the 2018 Barranquilla Central American Games under the tutelage of the experienced Granma receiver Carlos Martí we managed to achieve a medal, which in that time the silver medal was achieved behind the Puerto Rico team. It is worth noting that in 2019 the Cuba sub-23 team won the subtitle in the Pan-American game in Nicaragua, with which it was possible to qualify for the World Cup in that category for the first time.

In a total of four events, the Greater Antilles participated, leaving in many of them very discreet performances as in the last Premier 12 where with only one success over Australia in extrainning it was concluded in tenth position, while during the Pan American Games in Lima it provided perhaps the worst image of recent tournaments.

Fortunately, although the objectives with which the last events have been attended have not been met, the image left on the ground has changed to the point of having achieved a new medal in the international arena.

After this count, how do you consider the performance of the U23 team?

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LIKE IT OR NOT: U23 gave Cuban baseball a ray of hope