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1954 Caribbean Series

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The 1954 Caribbean Series (Serie del Caribe) was the sixth edition of the first stage of the Caribbean Series. It was held in San Juan, Puerto Rico from February 18 to February 23. The series featured four teams from Cuba, Panama, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela. The Criollos de Caguas of the host Puerto Rican League won the series and were managed by Mickey Owen. The Series was closely fought as the champion went 4 - 2; had Pastora de Occidente beaten Caguas-Guayama in the tenth game, all the teams would have finished 3-3. The Most Valuable Player was Jim Rivera, an outfielder with the Criollos de Caguas.

[edit] Team Summaries

The Caguas-Guayama team was in the middle of the pack in offense (22 runs), prevailing behind their fine pitching, which gave up just 10 earned runs. Lawrence (1-0, 1.00), Valentine (1-0, 1.00) and Gómez (1-0, 2.00) each turned in fine efforts while Arroyo (1-0, 2 H, 0 ER in 7 1/3 IP) did the job out of the bullpen. Three hitters carried much of the offensive weight - OF Jim Rivera (.450, the top average of the tourney), 1B Vic Power (.348, 3 doubles) and 2B Jack Cassini (.333, 2 SB). Player-manager Mickey Owen hit .236.

Almendares was guided by Bobby Bragan, the only foreigner to pilot a Cuban Winter League champion. Other than Marrero (1-0, 0.00) and Iott (1-0, 0.00), the pitching was fair. The offense led the tournament with 28 runs, guided primarily by outfielders Sam Chapman (.391, .609 SLG) and Angel Scull (.391, .522 SLG, 5 R).

Al Kubski managed Carta Vieja, which was clearly led by Stryska (2-0, 0.00) and Hockenberry (1-0, 1.00, 2 H, 10 K in 9) on the hill. 3B Joe Tuminelli, a former Series MVP, hit .391, while OF Bobby Prescott batted .381 with three doubles. They scored the fewest runs (17).

Pastora's most effective starters in ERA had the worst records - Kipper (0-2, 2.12) and Fox (0-1, 2.58), while Beard (1-1, 7.20) and Monzant (1-0, 3.00, 9 BB in 9 IP) got their only wins. 3B Luis "Camaleón" García hit .348 with 9 RBI, the most in the Series, and slugged .563 while 2B Johnny Temple hit .320 for an otherwise weak offense.

[edit] Final Standings

Team League G W L WPCT Manager
Caguas-Guayama Flag of Puerto Rico PRI Puerto Rican League 6 4 2 0.667 Mickey Owen
Almendares Flag of Cuba CUB Cuban Winter League 6 3 3 0.500 Bobby Bragan
Carta Vieja Flag of Panama PAN Panamanian League 6 3 3 0.500 Stanford Graham
Pastora de Occidente Flag of Venezuela VEN Venezuelan League 6 2 4 0.333 Buster Mills

[edit] Leaders

[edit] The Games

[edit] Febuary 18

Game 1

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Pastora 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 6 - 7 9 3
Almendares 2 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 - 5 9 0
Win: Beard (1-0) Loss: Walsh (0-1)

The game was cut short due to a time limit. It was the first time in the Series that a Venezuelan club had beaten a Cuban one after 10 straight wins by the Cubans.

Game 2

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Carta Vieja 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 0 0 4 7 1
Caguas-Guayama 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 8 1
Win: Stryska (1-0) Loss: Sanford (0-1)

Stryska allows no runs in handcuffing the eventual champions.

No games were played on February 19, presumably due to rain delay

[edit] Febuary 20

Game 3

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Almendares 0 2 2 2 0 0 4 0 3 13 16 1
Carta Vieja 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 2
Win: Marrero (1-0) Loss: Walsh (0-1)

Connie Marrero, aged somewhere between 46 and 52, was in absolutely dominant form in a complete game win.

Game 4

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Caguas-Guayama 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 3 7 0
Pastora 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 5 3
Win: Gómez (1-0) Loss: Kipper (0-1)

Both hurlers went the distance.

[edit] Febuary 21

Game 5

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Carta Vieja 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 3 6 5
Pastora 5 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 - 9 7 1
Win: Monzant (1-0) Loss: Stempel (0-1)

Game 6

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Caguas-Guayama 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 3 6 0
Almendares 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 0
Win: Fannin (1-0) Loss: Lawrence (0-1)

[edit] Febuary 22

Four games were played to make up for the postponed games of the 19th.

Game 7

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Almendares 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 - 4 7 1
Pastora 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 - 1 9 3
Win: Iott (1-0) Loss: Fox (0-1)

Another Cuba-Venezuela game was stopped by the time limit after 8 innings

Game 8

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 R H E
Caguas-Guayama 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 6 12 0
Carta Vieja 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 3 8 3
Win: Arroyo (1-0) Loss: Robinson (0-1)

Game 9

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Carta Vieja 0 0 0 2 0 3 0 0 0 5 7 0
Almendares 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 2
Win: Hockenberry (1-0) Loss: Muncrief (0-1)

Game 10

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Pastora 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 2
Caguas-Guayama 2 3 0 0 0 2 0 0 - 7 8 0
Win: Valentine (1-0) Loss: Beard (1-1)

The Puerto Rican entry clinches it with their second win of the day, much easier than the 11-inning affair from the early goings-on. Valentine goes the distance, while Beard gets knocked out in the second inning.

[edit] February 23

Game 11

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Pastora 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 7 0
Carta Vieja 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 2 9 2
Win: Stryska (2-0) Loss: Kipper (0-2)

Stryska again allows no earned runs as neither team goes to the bullpen in this pitching duel.

Game 12

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Almendares 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 7 1
Caguas-Guayama 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 6 4
Win: Walsh (1-1) Loss: Olivo (0-1)

Source: 1954 Baseball Guide, Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History by Jorge Figueredo

Serie del Caribe (Caribbean Series)

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