Osvaldo Fernández Guerra: I am happy; I have been living in a country with the largest democracy in the world for 29 years

On December 10, 1988, an attractive tan left-handed pitcher, representing Metropolitanos, gave Citricultores a 0 hit 0 run game during the XXVII National Baseball Series, in the best possible scenario, the Coloso del Cerro; the score 6 runs to 0 Remember?

Well today talk to CiberCuba the author of that feat, Osvaldo Fernández from the capital.

Nice to be interviewed by you again. And yes, of course I remember that game, how can I forget it! My mother had passed away a week before, you can imagine my state of mind, but I went out to pitch and saw that the game was going on and they didn’t hit me. So I became the 31st pitcher in Cuba to hit a 0 hit 0 run game and it wasn’t perfect because Enriquito Díaz dropped a rolling.

Osvaldo Fernández Guerra, Cuban left-handed pitcher, in a file image / Courtesy

Osvaldo’s face, despite the years that have passed, maintains its beautiful color, his bright eyes. He is a happy man.

And how could I not be! I have been living in a country with the largest democracy in the world for 29 years and I can give my opinion. This is not the case in Cuba, apart from the fact that they have lagged behind in many things; for example, baseball that has evolved so much in the world and there everything remains static.

I believe that you are born with a gift; In this case, being a baseball player and playing baseball is what should occupy your life, not worrying about the things that are missing, the shortcomings that your family suffers.

You have the right to live as a person and of course money is needed because it is what moves the world and you need it. Those boys are tired of the same thing, of losing their youth, as I lost it and many like me.

That was what happened in Sonora a few days ago at the U23 World Cup and, if you want my opinion, what will continue to happen. You can not against that, especially that this generation is not the one of yesteryear. Not at all. This generation wants to live from their work, they see the ball for what it is, a profession with which to earn a living.

I arrived already mistreated, I could have done much more than I did outside of Cuba. Look, I’m going to tell you something: I never wanted to leave, but it hurt so much that lack of respect to leave Barcelona 92 ​​out of the Olympic team roster, being me, if not the best left-handed pitcher, one of the best, that I could not tolerate it and I made the decision to leave.

In the end, I have to thank you for that unfair decision. What would have happened to me if I had gone to the Olympiad? How I was there, living dead and my family finished!

Every day I thank God and the person who did not take me into account to integrate that pitching staff. I wish I knew who it was, although I do know that he is here (in Miami) that I was going to buy him a car … but a real one, not the ones that gave there to win in the Olympic Games.

This is why I think those guys are going to keep staying. Take a look at those who currently play in the MLB, look at that Gurriel who is already older for giving life to the CUBA team, look at that Yordan Álvarez, who did fly fast, where are they?, Discussing a ring in the World Series. It is the point.

After such a harsh reality, I recall in my mind those days in which the southpaw from the capital threw those sharp curves in the corners that seemed never to arrive, always in the lower zone, exhibiting control. Without that great speed, Osvaldo dominated with his awkward deliveries, including an exquisite screwball, his intelligence and knowledge of opposing hitters.

Industrial or Meters? You were one of the few players in the capital who made his debut with the Blues; however, you were clamoring for the change to the scarlet cast, why?

Julita, don’t you remember the kind of pitching the Industriales had? It was the Cuba team: Duke Hernández, René Arocha, Lázaro Valle, Euclides Rojas, Lázaro de la Torre and… that second line with Iván Álvarez, an Ángel Leocadio Díaz who was greening laurels, Pablo Miguel Abreu, Rafael Gómez Mena, Francisco Despaigne , Leonardo Tamayo! I wanted to launch and how was I going to do it?

Osvaldo Fernández in 11 National Series presents a balance of 70 victories and 42 setbacks for an excellent 625. His ERA is 3.12 and his whip, 1.27. The southpaw of the Poey cast in Arroyo Naranjo, amassed 778 strikeouts in his career with a balance of 7.42 per 9 innings of performance. In total, he gave 9 grouts.

The end of the 80’s and the beginning of the 90’s was totally positive for him: in 1990, pitching for Metropolitanos, he was the leader in games started with 14; complete sets, 12; trumps, 12; innings pitched 119.2 and strikeouts 118.

It was a very beautiful time; I thought I was in the clouds. I was the axis in the triumphs of Industriales in 1991 and of Servio Borges’ Ciudad de La Habana in 1990 in the Selective Series.

Which hitter did you find the most difficult?

Uff! Lourdes Gurriel and, of course, I took outs from Pacheco, Kindelán, Omar but they also gave me sovereign lines.

Your beginnings, always ball?

Well, my mom Hilda and my dad Román let me play in the streets, cue in the four corners, but at eleven years old I started at CVD Ciro Frías in various sports until I ended up playing ball.

My first teacher was Ernesto “Chico” Morilla. Later, when I went up in category, Iván Aguiar trained me. So I took part in provincial school games (before they had a great quality) and at 16 years old I joined that great youth team of 1982, which for many has been the best of all time.

My interviewee is very right. Undoubtedly, that team gathered figures that would later become stars of Cuban baseball.

Hey, Orestes Kindelán, Omar Linares, Antonio Pacheco, Lázaro Vargas, Armando Ferreiro, Faustino Corrales, Osvaldo Duvergel, René Arocha, Pablo Miguel Abreu, among others, led by José Miguel Pineda. Me in that team? A dream! On the other hand, I joined the all-star as the best left-handed pitcher in the World Cup. Of course, after the dream the nightmare would come.


Yes, because in 1983 I made my debut with the Industriales, which, as I already told you, was full of leading figures in Cuban pitching and a young man like me was out of place. They were five years of frustration and lost of my career.

On several occasions I requested that they change me for the Metros and they did not do it. It was a whim. It wasn’t until my fifth National Series that they agreed and there I was able to start pitching and winning.

If I got something good from Industriales, it was that coach Waldo Velo taught me to throw the screwball, which contributed a lot to my repertoire. I spent two years with that guerrilla group that was the Metros and at the end of that time I returned to Industriales, but now as a consolidated and stellar serpentinero. It was not the same, it was part of the lions’ firmament.

I remember an anecdote from that Havana City of Servio in 90 and your tubey.

Hahaha. Of course you can’t forget it because, being the best left-handed pitcher of that season, you in your Out section in Home of the National Sports News only put the happy hit.

I had to go out to bat. I was looking at Servio, who you will remember that things always worked out well for him when it came to letting pitchers hit. He had come in relief against Agropecuarios and he made some changes and I was fourth bat.

You imagine? He asked me “do you know how to hit?” I told him yes. “Well, grab a bat.” When I went out to the batter’s box, the stadium fell. It was very strange to see a pitcher hit. The home plate umpire was Iván Davis, who told me: “I’m going to give you a big strikeout” and I answered “if I give you time” and then I see that catcher Pedro Luis Rodríguez asks for a straight, I swung and the line came out.

LOL. I was laughing and so happy that I did not step first and nobody noticed. Nothing but the ampaya Belén. It is a nice memory but the best thing was that later, when passing by the referee’s room, Belén yelled at me: “hey mulatico, you didn’t step first.”

It was a great afternoon, we laughed. It was good baseball that one, the stadiums were full, people followed us, there was rivalry. That year I won 19 and 5 and you put the tubey on television. I always remember that hahaha.

I was a champion in everything; The only thing I lacked was to be in Barcelona, ​​they took it from me. As I told you, there I made the decision to play as a professional. I stayed in Curaçao in 1993; I pitched a game and left with Luis Álvarez and came to the United States where I signed with the Seattle Mariners and the New York Mets. I was in Mexico with the Sultans of Monterrey and Satillos. I played in Puerto Rico and then in Chinese Taipei.

Internationally, playing for Cuba, the left-handed Fernández, in addition to the Youth World Cup in Venezuela, competed in the Edmonton 90 Orb Contest, where he won 2, threw 15 innings with 12 strikeouts, only 4 hits allowed and an ERA of 0.95.

In the Pan American Games, Havana 91 reported a victory, worked 11 innings with 12 strikeouts. In bilateral Cuba-US caps, in the period between 1987 and 1993, he pitched 18.2 innings with a 2-1 record. He proposed 20 strikeouts.

What are you currently doing, are you still linked to baseball?

I told you at the beginning of our dialogue that I live very happily in a country that has opened its arms to me. No, I do not have to do with the ball, although you can see me play softball every Sunday on the Rubén Darío field in the games of veterans and Cubans who do not forget their sport.

I work in an American parcel company that allows me to live fully, I deliver with Fedex Groud. I am not a millionaire, but I have everything a human being can dream of. Here you comply with the law, you work and you simply live. I don’t need to be an Olympic champion, you understand? I live with dignity with my daughters Anisley and Gretel and my grandsons Antony and Angelo.


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Osvaldo Fernández Guerra: I am happy; I have been living in a country with the largest democracy in the world for 29 years