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1958 Caribbean Series

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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.

Contents

[edit] 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).

Carta Vieja had won the three-team Panama League with just a 19-15 mark. Jim Umbricht (6-3) had led in winning percentage while Tony Bartirome (.313) was second in the loop in average.

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 Industriales de Valencia had won the Venezuelan League with a 23-18 mark and then beat the Occidental League champs in the post-season.

[edit] The Games

[edit] Febuary 8

Game 1

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Marianao 0 2 0 0 0 3 5 0 0 10 13 0
Valencia 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 2 7 5
Win: Fornieles (1-0) Loss: Cueche (0-1)

Game 2

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Carta Vieja 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2
Caguas-Rio Pedras 2 0 3 0 0 3 0 0 - 8 16 0
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.


[edit] Febuary 9

Game 3

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Marianao 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
Carta Vieja 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 - 5 10 0
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.

Game 4

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Caguas-Rio Pedras 4 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 6 9 1
Valencia 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 8 0
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.


[edit] Febuary 10

Game 5

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Carta Vieja 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 1
Valencia 0 1 0 2 2 0 0 0 - 5 10 0
Win: Bracho (1-0) Loss: Benedict (0-1)

The Venezuelans finally pick up a win.

Game 6

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Caguas-Rio Pedras 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 4 6 0
Marianao 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 5 10 1
Win: Ramos (1-1) Loss: Fricano (0-1)

Jose Santiago carried the lead into the bottom of the 9th but reliever Marion Fricano could not hold on as Cuba rallied to win to tie Puerto Rico at 2-1.

[edit] Febuary 11

Game 7

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Valencia 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 13 0
Marianao 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 8 1
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.

Game 8

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Caguas-Rio Pedras 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 3 9 4
Carta Vieja 0 1 0 0 3 3 1 3 - 11 12 1
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.


[edit] Febuary 12

Game 9

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Carta Vieja 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 9 5
Marianao 5 3 3 0 1 1 2 0 - 15 17 0
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.

Game 10

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Valencia 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 3 0 6 7 2
Caguas-Rio Pedras 0 0 3 0 3 0 0 0 1 7 13 1
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.


[edit] Febuary 13

Game 11

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Valencia 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 10 0
Carta Vieja 1 0 3 0 1 0 0 0 - 5 11 0
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.

Game 12

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Marianao 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 6 1
Caguas-Rio Pedras 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1
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.

[edit] Final Standings

Team League G W L WPCT Manager
Marianao Tigers Flag of Cuba CUB Cuban Winter League 6 4 2 0.667 Napoleón Reyes
Caguas-Guayama Flag of Puerto Rico PRI Puerto Rican League 6 3 3 0.500 Ted Norbert
Carta Vieja Flag of Panama PAN Panamanian League 6 3 3 0.500 Leon Kellman
Industriales de Valencia Flag of Venezuela VEN Venezuelan League 6 2 4 0.333 Regino Otero

[edit] 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.

[edit] Leaders

[edit] Sources

1958 Baseball Guide and Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History by Jorge Figueredo

Serie del Caribe (Caribbean Series)

First Series
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Winter League

Cuban Winter League | Dominican Winter League
Mexican Pacific League | Panama League
Puerto Rican Winter League | Venezuelan League

Most Valuable Player | Serie Interamericana | Confederación de Béisbol del Caribe
Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame
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