1984 Amateur World Series
From BR Bullpen
The 1984 Amateur World Series was the 28th Amateur World Series. It was held from October 14 through October 28, 1984 in Cuba. After having sat out the 1982 Series, the Cuban national team continued its winning ways by taking home Gold. The MVP was Víctor Mesa of Cuba. One prominent name in retrospect was Team USA outfielder Barry Bonds.
 Team Summaries
- Netherlands Antilles finished 10th at 4-6; they were 1-5 in the round-robin phase but 3-1 in the second round-robin phase. Angelo Clemencia (2-1, Sv, 2.00) was the top pitcher, though one of their worse performers, Orlando Stewart (0-2, 8.03), went on to a very good career in Hoofdklasse. 1B Rafael Josefa (.357/.413/.619, 13 RBI) and DH-C Saad Elhage (.366/.409/.659, 9 RBI) paced the offense. Their .280 team average ranked second, .80 behind Cuba.
- Cuba was 11-2, dropping a game in phase one to Puerto Rico and a game in phase two to Taiwan. They had a dominant offense, with a team OPS of 1092. The star slugging show included C Juan Castro (.452/.469/.677, 11 R), 1B Antonio Muñoz (.424/.500/1.000, 5 HR, 10 R, 15 RBI), 2B Alfonso Urquiola (.449/.491/.816, 11 R, 11 RBI), SS Antonio Pacheco (.429/.488/.600), RF-1B Luis Casanova (.364/.419/.727, 6 HR, 12 R, 15 RBI), DH-RF Lazaro Junco (.375/.432/.700), CF Víctor Mesa (.475/.523/.797, 17 R, 11 extra-base hits, 14 RBI, 8 SB) and LF Lourdes Gourriel (.309/.356/.636, 12 R, 16 RBI). Three pitchers stood out - Reinaldo Costa (3-0, 1.65, 27 K in 27 1/3 IP), Julio Romero (3-0, 2.05, 38 K, 15 H in 30 2/3 IP) and Jorge Luis Valdés (3-0, 2.18).
- Dominican Republic placed 12th at 3-6 despite a 3.43 team ERA; a .204/.266/.262 batting line was the problem as there was little offensive support.
- Italy was 11th at 3-7. C Roberto Bianchi (.500/.546/1.025, 6 HR, 12 R, 20 RBI) was clearly their top performer. He led the competition in average (the only non-Cuban in the top 5), tied for the most homers, led in RBI and tied for third in hits. Mark Talarico (2-0, 1.00) had the only ERA under 3.
- Japan just missed a Medal with a 8-5 performance; after a 5-1 round-robin first-phase, they were just 3-4 in the latter round. DH Tadanori Murakami (.387/.417/.677, 9 RBI) and RF Masahiro Tsuruoka (.370/.473/.543, 13 RBI) led the hitters, while only six pitchers saw action, led by Yasuhisa Kubo (3-0, 2.03) and Hiroshi Nagatomi (4-1, 2.48).
- South Korea failed to repeat on their Gold of 1982, not winning any medal. They were 5-7. Two bright spots were 1982 MVP Dong-yeol Sun (1-1, 0.00, 0 ER, 3 R, 20 K in 17 1/3 IP) and DH Ki-woong Kang (.325/.386/.550). Their 2.34 ERA was second to Venezuela but they only hit .231/.310/.305 with 31 runs scored.
- Netherlands finished last at 1-8, worse than the Netherlands Antilles.
- Nicaragua was 5-8, tying Puerto Rico for last in the 1-8 pool. They tied for 5th with 9 home runs but surrendered 17 gopher balls. Julio Moya (4-0, 1.87) had the only ERA under 3.00 as the staff ace. C Tomas Guzman hit .241/.313/.517 to lead the team in OPS by a slim margin.
- Panama was 7-5 to finish in the middle of the pack. Crispin Poveda (2-2, 2.10) was a workhorse, throwing 30 of their 105 1/3 innings. Their three top hitters were LF Rodrigo Orozco (.370/.408/.522), CF-RF Omar Ramos (.346/.393/.538) and DH Reinaldo Sharp (.325/.438/.675, 11 R). They stole successfully in only 8 of 21 tries.
- Puerto Rico was a bit behind Panama at 6-7, with a 54-46 edge in runs. Mariano Quinones (2-0, 2.48) was their most effective pitcher. The top hitter was 1B Luis Fontanez (.353/.400/.569). One player who did not fare as well as future major leaguer Hector Villanueva, who only was 2 for 13 with a double and no walks.
- Chinese Taipei won its first Medal in Amateur World Series history, taking Silver with a 7-5 record. They were only 2-3 in the first round-robin phase, but 5-2 in the second phase. Their 2.52 ERA ranked third. Their pitcher abuse was even worse than Japan - they too used six hurlers, but one of them pitched 46 of their 100 innings! Sheng-Hsiung Chuang appeared in 9 of 12 games in getting that workload and was 3-0 with a save and a 0.98 ERA. 2B Wen-Sheng Leu (.300/.391/.550) and SS Fu-Lien Wu (.357/.378/.643, 10 R) were the top offensive performers.
- United States won Bronze at 8-4. The offense was led by LF Barry Bonds (.304/.319/.565, 16 RBI), DH Jim McCollom (.279/.380/.488) and RF Allan Stallings (.238/.360/.548, 11 R). The US finished 4th with 52 runs. 2B Pete Stanicek hit .240/.424/.280 and stole 5 bases, tying for third in the event. Jeff Ballard (0 R in 5 1/3 IP) and Doug Henry (2-0, 1.32) led the staff. The team was loaded with future minor league pitching coaches in Henry, Mark Gardner (1-0, 5.00) and Wally Whitehurst (2-2, 3.52), but failed to finish in the top 5 in ERA.
- Venezuela was 6-4 though their 2.18 ERA led the Series. They were 2-4 in the first round, thanks to two one-run losses (against Puerto Rico and Nicaragua) but 4-0 in the 9-13 group round-robin for a 9th place finish. Their only shutout, oddly, came against a good Italian offense. Carlos Cardona (1-1, 1.15) and Celis Gonzalez (3-0, 1.17) led the excellent pitching and no one had an ERA over 5. The offense was carried by RF Jesus Cartagena, who batted .385/.394/.641 with 9 runs. No one else had an OPS over 742.
Source: Defunct IBAF website