“Tribute to Arocha, our Jackie Robinson”

René escaped from a Cuban delegation that made a stopover in Miami before returning to the island, after a sporting event in Millington, Tennessee. His escape marked a before and after in the history of Cuban baseball and paved the way for dozens of Cuban baseball players in the Major Leagues. His route was followed by many more. Today hundreds of players from the Greater Antilles triumph as professionals inside and outside the United States.

AROCHA MOREJON AND FUENTES COURTESY of LIONEL WATSON.jpg 2021

From left to right, the journalist Jorge Morejón, René Arocha and Jorge Fuentes.

COURTESY of LIONEL WATSON

Tribute to the legacy of Cuban pitcher René Arocha

“I am not a documentary filmmaker, but years ago I wanted to honor our Jackie Robinson. Arocha is an achiever who lives in freedom and his legacy has not been sufficiently highlighted. He is the protagonist of the change in Cuban baseball today and his steps showed the way to true success and freedom. His number 43 in the Major Leagues was to be worn by Cuban players in Las Mayores every July 10, the day of his escape, ”Morejón said during the premiere of the documentary at the American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora.

“It was actually something casual. He was not a friend of Arocha. In fact, it made me suffer enough, because I was not a fan of Industriales,” Morejón confessed to the laughter of the attendees.

“I met René at the beginning of the year at the Tropical Park and I remembered that it was 30 years since his arrival in the lands of freedom and I said to myself: something must be done. That is how the idea came up,” said the excellent journalist and editor during the premiere of the documentary.

Rule’s right-hander didn’t come to the big top in America very young, but he was talented enough for the St Louis Cardinals to draft. He pitched with them from 1993 to 1995. Then he was part of the San Francisco Giants in 1997. He finished with 18 wins and 17 losses, plus 190 strikeouts.

In his years of service, he did not earn many millions like current players, but his legacy is incalculable: he opened the eyes of many players within Cuba and showed that you could succeed in the Major Leagues.

AROCHA POST DOCUMENTARY LIONEL WATSON.jpg 2021

Poster of the documentary titled "René Arocha, the Cuban Jackie Robinson".

Poster of the documentary titled “René Arocha, the Cuban Jackie Robinson”.

COURTESY OF LIONEL WATSON

The path to success of Cuban players in the Major Leagues

Arocha traced the path with his success for dozens of compatriots who have succeeded and who continue to do so today in Las Mayores. Unfortunately, many of them did not attend the premiere of the documentary at the Museum of the Cuban Diaspora, where the former pitchers Edilberto Oropesa and Orlando “El Duque” Hernández were present, as well as the former manager of the national team, Jorge Fuentes.

“I am very proud of René Arocha, and now more. In the documentary we learn things we didn’t know. ” Arocha’s greatness is much greater than his statistical records in baseball, “said” El Duque. “

For Eddie Oropesa (former Matanzas and Major League pitcher) Arocha was an inspiration. “It served as a guide for many of us to understand that the path to freedom involves many sacrifices and the need to make important and difficult decisions.”

Jorge Morejón graduated in Journalism from the University of Havana in 1990. His career has been prolific in various media. He worked in Cuba at the newspaper El Habanero and at the international news agency Prensa Latina, before emigrating to the United States in 1998. In that year he joined the Nuevo Herald team and later Univisión, Telemundo, FOX Sports en Español, ESPN and Americatevé, where he currently works.

“René Arocha, the Cuban Jackie Robinson “is his debut as a documentary filmmaker.

The music of the documentary, which will be released this Saturday, November 13, was in charge of the teacher, Jorge Arronte. The graphic design and post-production was by Ismael Rodríguez; with the images of the cameraman, Ángel Segundo González.

@joselnapoles

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“Tribute to Arocha, our Jackie Robinson”