SOS: Former Cuban Major League pitcher disappeared

By SwingCompleto

More than a piece of news in question, this is a call that Swing Completo makes to anyone who has information about this Cuban baseball figure whose most important merits included pitching in the Major Leagues.

He is the charismatic ex-monticulista from Havana Gonzalo “Cholly” Naranjo, one of the living legends of Cuban ball and among the oldest Latino “big leaguers” still alive.

A few days ago, colleague Yasel Porto, a personal friend of “Cholly”, posted on his Facebook that anyone who knew something about him should please tell him about it.

“The last time I saw him was about two and a half months ago when I visited him where he was living in Hialeah. I could not record the address because we went through a lot of work to get to the place because the information he gave us was very imprecise. Nor was there an important point of reference that would allow us to remember how to get to the site more or less, ”Porto told us, who has tried to make contact with him by all possible means.

“The phone line is out of service and that must be the reason why it is also down on Facebook. Even the latest publications on his profile are from people who have written to him on his wall worried because they have not heard from him for a long time ”.

Yasel Porto with «Cholly» Naranjo during the coverage of Spring Trainning 2016

At 86 years old, Naranjo had become a person very loved by fans and players from his humorous and particular character, plus his extraordinary physical abilities that kept him extremely active beyond eighty years.

“The Cholly thing was incredible, because it was impossible for you not to spend your time having fun with him with his witticisms and phrases. I met him personally in 2017 when the All-Star Game in Miami and we maintained a tremendous friendship to the point that at almost 85 years old he was practically my main driver in Miami, whether it was for work or personal things. We went to Tampa once with a project that is still in production and the experience was tremendous. Wherever he arrived, he stole the limelight, because to his way of being we had to add the respect he generated in others for his history in baseball and maintaining an enviable memory and physique, ”Porto continued to comment, who was concerned the last time she had contact with him.

“It was not even remotely the same. He was not as careful as before, he repeated things too much and boncha less than other times. He no longer drove because the car had crashed on three occasions and his means of transportation throughout Miami was the bus. “

The main theme with “Cholly” is that he has no relative in the United States, and the closest sentimental thing to him was a girlfriend who still resides in Cuba.

A friend from Porto told him that he had seen him from afar in the Southwest of Miami getting off a bus but that the impression was not the best because he noticed him disoriented and somewhat neglected.

Naranjo launched in Big leagues in the 1956 season with the Pittsburgh Pirates in the midst of his moment of splendor within the Professional League of his home country where he was one of the main relievers of the legendary Almendares club.

His major league career was hampered by a rare disease that affected his brain and that consisted of total loss of sleep. He managed to cure himself of this disease, but it was too late to join a level like MLB.

For many years he was a coach in various areas of Havana, especially municipalities such as Diez de Octubre and Cerro, until he definitively emigrated to the United States in 1991.

His full name is Lázaro Ramón Gonzalo Naranjo Couto, born in Luyanó, Havana, on November 25, 1934. In his only experience in the majors he pitched 17 games with a win, 26 strikeouts and a 4.46 ERA. From 1952 he was part of the Washington Senators but received the opportunity to work in the first level until they changed him to Pittsburgh. However, in 1954 he became famous for hosting United States President Dwight Eisenhower in an opening game of a season in which he was incredibly non-performing.

Swing Completo appreciates in advance any information you have in this regard in order to help Gonzalo naranjo in any way possible.