1958 Caribbean Series
From BR Bullpen
The 1958 Caribbean Series (Serie del Caribe) was the tenth edition of the first stage of the Caribbean Series. It was held in San Juan, Puerto Rico from February 8 to February 13. The series featured four teams from Cuba, Panama, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. Marianao of the Cuban Winter League won the series and were managed by Napoleón Reyes. The Most Valuable Player was Earl Battey, a catcher with the Industriales de Valencia.
Marianao became the first repeat champions in the history of the Series.
 The Teams
The Marianao Tigers had captured the Cuban Winter League title with a 43-32 record, four games ahead of Almendares. Bob Shaw (14-5, 1.48) had led the league in wins and ERA and Mike Fornieles was 11-6 with a 2.09 ERA. 3B Milt Smith (.320) won the batting title while 2B Casey Wise (.256) led in doubles (14) and walks (52) and OF Solly Drake (.255) led in runs (46) and tied for the lead in steals (11).
The Caguas-Rio Pedras club had gone 33-31 to tie the San Juan Senators for second in the Puerto Rican League behind the Santurce Crabbers but had won the three-team playoff. Vic Power had blasted 13 homers for the club. Juan Pizarro (14-5, 1.32, 183 K in 170 IP) and Jerry Nelson (10-5, 1.51) were 1-2 in the league in ERA.
 The Games
 February 8
|Win: Fornieles (1-0) Loss: Cueche (0-1)|
|Win: Pizarro (1-0) Loss: Davie (0-1)|
A day after his 21st birthday, Juan Pizarro shatters the Series record with a 17-strikeout effort, snapping the old mark of five.
 February 9
|Win: Robinson (1-0) Loss: Ramos (0-1)|
Pedro Ramos, added to the Cuban roster when Bob Mabe could not make the trip, struggled, while Carta Vieja bounced back from their rocky game one behind a stellar outing from Humberto Robinson.
|Win: Nelson (1-0) Loss: Monzant (0-1)|
Jerry Nelson tosses the third shutout in four games so far to put the Puerto Rican club into first place so far.
 February 10
|Win: Bracho (1-0) Loss: Benedict (0-1)|
The Venezuelans finally pick up a win.
|Win: Ramos (1-1) Loss: Fricano (0-1)|
 February 11
|Win: Monzant (1-1) Loss: Fornieles (1-1)|
The eventual champions take their last loss of the Series to fall to 2-2 as Fornieles is knocked out in the second in a far cry from his game one show against the Venezuelans.
|Win: Duser (1-0) Loss: Fricano (0-2)|
Fricano drops his second in a row as all the entries are now tied with identical 2-2 records.
 February 12
|Win: Ramos (2-1) Loss: Umbricht (0-1)|
Pedro Ramos goes the distance to put the Cubans into the lead, backed by the best offensive showcase of the tournament. Panamanian starter Jim Umbricht can't even make it out of the first inning.
|Win: Jose Santiago (1-0) Loss: Jose Bracho (1-1)|
Pizarro starts for Puerto Rico and whiffes 12 before leaving in the 8th. Santiago finishes it up in relief and Caguas-Rio Pedras scores late off of Jose (Carrao) Bracho to force a deciding game six against Cuba.
 February 13
|Win: Robinson (2-0) Loss: Bracho (1-2)|
In the battle for last place, Carta Vieja escapes the cellar with another fine outing by Humberto Robinson.
|Win: Shaw (1-0) Loss: Nelson (1-1)|
The championship came down to a matchup between the 3-2 Marianao Tigers and the 3-2 Caguas-Rio Pedras club, backed by almost 16,000 fans at Sixto Escobar Park. Game two ace and regular-season star Nelson got the call for the "home" team while the Cuban Winter League's top pitcher, Bob Shaw, took the ball for the Tigers (in the US, he was property of another Tigers outfit, the Detroit Tigers). For eight innings, neither team scored in a fine pitching duel. Minnie Miñoso singled for Cuba, as did Solly Drake. Puerto Rico had a crucial error followed by a sacrifice fly by C Ray Noble to make it 2-0 for Marianao. Shaw finished up the 3-hit complete game shutout gem to seal the deal for the repeating champions.
 Final Standings
|Marianao Tigers||CUB Cuban Winter League||6||4||2||0.667||Napoleón Reyes|
|Caguas-Guayama||PRI Puerto Rican League||6||3||3||0.500||Ted Norbert|
|Carta Vieja||PAN Panamanian League||6||3||3||0.500||Leon Kellman|
|Industriales de Valencia||VEN Venezuelan League||6||2||4||0.333||Regino Otero|
 Team Summaries
Marianao got reliable pitching from Shaw (1-0, 8 H and 0 BB in 16 IP) and Ramos (2-1, 18 K in 15 2/3 IP). The offense was led by Wise (.407), Drake (.333) and Minoso (.318). As a team, they failed to homer and had just one triple, but their .285 average and 33 runs led the Series in a station-to-station style of attack. Their .986 fielding led the way and their pitching was solid.
Caguas was led by Pizarro's amazing 29 strikeouts in 16 2/3 innings, giving up only 10 hits in the process; he was 1-0. Nelson (1-1) allowed no earned runs in 18 innings of work. Power (.458, .583 SLG) led the Series with 8 RBI while OF Roberto Clemente (.391, .609 SLG) led the team with six runs and hit their lone homer of the tournament.
For Carta Vieja, Humberto Robinson (2-0) was the star. 2B Hector Lopez hit .478 and slugged .609. Their only home run was hit by OF Whitey Schmidt (.261). Bartirome hit a solid .292 with three doubles, four runs and 3 RBI. Their 10 errors were the worst of any entry.
For Valencia, the bright spots were three hitters - 1B Lou Limmer (.381, .762 SLG, 5 RBI) led the tourney with two homers, C Earl Battey (.435, .739 SLG) was the MVP and OF Bob Wilson hit .500 with one homer, five runs and four RBI.
- Batting Average: .500 - Bob Wilson, Industriales de Valencia
- Home Runs: 2 - Lou Limmer, Industriales de Valencia
- Runs Batted In: 8 - Víc Power, Caguas-Guayama
- Wins: 2 - Humberto Robinson, Carta Vieja and Pedro Ramos, Marianao Tigers
|Serie del Caribe (Caribbean Series)
| Most Valuable Player | Serie Interamericana | Confederación de Béisbol del Caribe|
|Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame|