UNUSUAL: Former Cuban pitcher star died and hardly anyone found out

By SwingCompleto / contact@swincompleto.com

Next September 8 will be a month since the death of a Cuban baseball figure who, without the significance of many of his generation, was able to surpass 100 victories in National Series and become at a certain moment the pitching leader of his Province.

The incredible thing is that with these two characteristics or merits practically no media reported his death on August 8 from the same virus that today has many people in check in Cuba and the world.

Of course, it is not about Reinaldo Costa, first because the Pinar del Río happened on August 31, and secondly because of the fact that it was widely disseminated on social networks and all kinds of press related to Cuba.

It is about Julio Mantilla Marcelino, from Avilan, who launched no less than 19 National Series from the end of the seventies to the first years of the nineties, becoming a good monticulista who rubbed shoulders in several seasons with the best of Cuba.

He became the main pitcher of the Tigres for some years, especially after the retirement of legends such as Omar Carrero, Manuel Álvarez and Lázaro Santana, in a second part of the eighties where the squad of the territory had other talented on him box like Tomás Creo and Regino Robaina.

He was a man who was identified by his bravery for important moments, who without having that powerful fastball managed to dominate his rivals in aluminum bat time with his intelligence to vary his breakthrough pitches and a lateral pitching system and three. rooms. He stood out for his good character that led him to be one of the athletes of his generation who most identified with the fans of the teams he represented, because in addition to being Blind in the National, he was one of the straps in the Selectives with the Camagüeyanos combined.

Precisely its most important collective moment was the coronation with this last team in the 1977 contest under the direction of Carlos Gómez.

On November 7, 1992, Mantilla became the third Avilanian pitcher to reach 100 victories in the Cuban classics, and in total he recorded 103 successes with 792 strikeouts, 28 saves, 13 shots and an average of the rivals of 278. In Three times he was part of the national preselection and ended up integrating Cuba B those times.

The death of Mantilla was only made public by the provincial station of Ciego de Ávila, “Radio Surco.” Unfortunately twice, first for joining the list of Cuban baseball figures, and one of the millions of human beings who have not been able to defeat this disease, and secondly for having passed his death almost anonymously.

Perhaps the concluding moment of the Olympic Games combined with the accumulation of news on the subject of COVID in Cuba and around the world, and logically many forget history and close too much the sporting significance of people. Not only legends have the right, there are others like Julio Mantilla with a career good enough to deserve much more than dying with the knowledge of a few.