By Yasel Porto
That the people of Pinar del Río Alfonso Urquiola and Luis Giraldo Casanova They were one of the two most transcendental players that Cuban baseball has had is a statement with which hardly anyone would disagree. The sporting merits of both within the field of play were notable enough that beyond the fans of the backcountry territory there are millions of people who today recognize the professional greatness of these men from Orozco, a small town belonging to Bahia. Sling.
There are many points in common between these two baseball legends in the sports field and in a general sense. Countless in fact, as if it were practically the same person or figure.
And in all that infinite range of coincidences, we should also include what has to do with their human values. Yes, because even with the personal characteristics of each one there is the same common denominator that has to do with the affection that people have won because of how they have been with that Pinar del Río and Cuban public in general.
Some time ago a documentary was produced by a group of friends from the westernmost of the Cuban provinces in which Casanova and Urquiola are shown taking part in various initiatives in which they had a direct link with many very humble people from Pinar itself. del Río, specifically in the community of «La Conchita».
The audiovisual of the brothers Juan and Tito Osaba, together with the outstanding director Emilio Caro, is an excellent opportunity to get completely closer to that human side of the stellar expeloteros, and it includes highly emotional passages such as the one that relates to children trying to develop in the sport of balls and strikes.
With the historian Juan Martínez de Osaba acting as conductor, the work fulfills its main objective and is to denote once again the fundamental reason why these Cuban luminaries were able to win the admiration and respect of almost everyone.
As I said before, each one with its own stamp, but with multiple similarities such as a sense of humor that both develop in a very particular way. It is precisely in the material that this ability to make jokes and tell stories with which everyone ends up laughing is also revealed.
Alfonso Urquiola is among the best intermediate players that have passed through the National Series, spiritual leader of that golden generation of Vegueros and Pinar del Río that swept the Cuban ball between 1978 and 1988. His well-elevated integrity kept him in the national team practically until your retirement itself. After his formidable career as an active player, he became over the years one of the most successful managers in Cuba. His results domestically and abroad made him one of the fan favorites.
With respect to “El Señor Pelotero”, not a few place him as the best Cuban player that has been in the National Series after his countryman Omar Linares. Casanova got tired of shining with his provincial teams and within the Cuba team where he was all the time one of the main workhorses. He decided to retire in 1992 despite the fact that he still had a world ahead of him and still left numbers that place him among the best with the bat. He had a brief foray as a helmsman, although his work was very outstanding. Nobody understands, not even he, why he lasted such a short time at the head of the back squad.
But I insist on the essence of this article and it is the high human value of two veterans, with that combination of personal and professional greatness like few others. Precisely at the end of the letter we left you with the link to the documentary that we referred to earlier, and that when seen by this journalist prompted me to write about the subject and share the audiovisual show.
We would love to give thanks to the writer of this short article for this awesome material
Luis Giraldo Casanova and Alfonso Urquiola more than demonstrated their great human side