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1998-1999 Cuban National League

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The 1998-1999 season was the thirty-eighth season of Cuba's national baseball system.

Contents

[edit] Serie Nacional

In a surprise win, Santiago de Cuba takes the 38th Serie Nacional title over heavily favoured Industriales. The team, managed by future national team manager Higinio Vélez, finished fourth in the Zona Oriental – two games over .500. It was the team's first title in a decade.

Santiago de Cuba won a close 3 – 2 quarterfinal series against number one seed Granma, a team that won ten games more than the eventual champions in the regular season. The avispas then defeated Guantánamo 4 – 2 in the semifinals earn the right to represent the Zona Oriental against Industriales. Meanwhile the azules were the top team in the Serie Nacional with a 58 – 32 record. The team then swept La Habana in the quarterfinals and won their semifinal series, 4 – 3, against Isla de la Juventud in one of the greatest series in Cuban history. Industriales then looked as if it would steamroll over Santiago de Cuba by winning the first three games of the best-of-seven series. Santiago de Cuba then won the next four games to take the title. Game six and seven were won with complete games by Ormari Romero and Norge Luis Vera at Havana's Estadio Latinoamericano. The semifinal and final series featured wooden bats donated by Major League Baseball after the Baltimore Orioles played an exhibition series against the Cuban national team. The series also interrupted postseason play.

Isla de la Juventud's Michel Enríquez hit an all-time record 152 base hits, and set two aluminum bat era records for runs scored with 81 and 35 doubles. Other era records set include 12 triples by Yasser Gómez, now with Industriales, and 89 base-on-balls by Matanzas's Juan Manrique. The league's leader in batting average was Yobal Dueñas of Pinar del Río who had 141 hits in 337 at-bats for a .418 average. Omar Linares misses most of the regular season due to leg injuries, but recovered enough to play in the exhibition series versus the Orioles.

José Ibar of La Habana follows up his 20 win season with 18 wins. Ibar is once again the league's top workhorse with 193.0 innings pitched and leads the league with 158 strikeouts. Granma's Ciro S. Licea – the losing pitcher in the national team's lone defeat a year earlier – is the league leader in earned run average at 1.85 with 38 earned runs in 185 innings pitched. Licea also leads the league with 16 complete games and 7 shutouts – both aluminum bat era records. Amaury Sanit of Industriales appeared in 39 games, 38 of which were in relief – both leading the league and era records. Teenager Maels Rodríguez of Sancti Spíritus makes an inauspicious début of the league leader board with 69 base-on-balls.

[edit] Standings

Bold indicates Zona champion; Italics indicates Serie Nacional champion

[edit] Zona Occidental

Grupo A Grupo B
Team G W L WPCT GB
Pinar del Río 90 53 37 0.589 -.- Industriales 90 58 32 0.644 -.-
Isla de la Juventud 90 52 38 0.578 1.0 La Habana 90 51 39 0.567 7.0
Matanzas 90 40 50 0.444 13.0 Cienfuegos 90 42 48 0.467 16.0
Metropolitanos 90 34 56 0.378 19.0 Sancti Spíritus 90 33 57 0.367 25.0

[edit] Zona Oriental

Grupo C Grupo D
Team G W L WPCT GB Team G W L WPCT GB
Villa Clara 90 51 39 0.567 -.- Granma 90 56 34 0.622 -.-
Ciego de Ávila 90 41 49 0.456 10.0 Guantánamo 90 50 40 0.556 6.0
Camagüey 90 40 50 0.444 11.0 Santiago de Cuba 90 46 44 0.511 10.0
Las Tunas 90 30 60 0.333 21.0 Holguín 90 43 47 0.478 13.0

[edit] Playoffs

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
                           
  OCC1  Industriales 3  
OCC4  La Habana 0  
  OCC1  Industriales 4  
Occidental
  OCC3  Isla de la Juventud 3  
OCC2  Pinar del Río 2
  OCC3  Isla de la Juventud 3  
    OCC1  Industriales 3
  OTE4  Santiago de Cuba 4
  OTE1  Granma 2  
OTE4  Santiago de Cuba 3  
  OTE4  Santiago de Cuba 4
Oriental
  OTE3  Guantánamo 2  
OTE2  Villa Clara 1
  OTE3  Guantánamo 3  

[edit] All-Star Game

The fourteenth Juego de las Estrellas (All-Star Game) was held at Güines in La Habana on February 18, 1999. In the game, Oriente defeated Occidentales by a score of 1 to 0. Oriente had 5 hits to Occidentales's 4, while the errors were 1 to 0 in favor of Oriente. The winning pitcher was Wualberto Quesada and the losing pitcher was Carlos Yanes. Danel Castro had the game's only home run.

[edit] Leaders

Bold indicates either wooden bat record or aluminum bat record (1976-1977 to 1998-1999), Italics indicate Serie Nacional record

[edit] Batting

Stat Leader Team Number Notes
Batting Average Yobal Dueñas Pinar del Río .418 141 hits in 337 at-bats
Runs Scored Michel Enríquez Isla de la Juventud 81
Base Hits Michel Enríquez Isla de la Juventud 152
Doubles Michel Enríquez Isla de la Juventud 35
Triples Yasser R. Gómez Industriales 12
Home Runs Daniel Lazo Pinar del Río 18
Runs Batted In Óscar Macías La Habana 81
Base-on-Balls Juan Manrique Matanzas 89
Intentional Base-on-Balls Yobal Dueñas Pinar del Río 17
Hit-by-Pitch Reutilio Hurtado Santiago de Cuba 22
Strikeouts Roberto Pena Granma 72
Sacrifice Hit Juan M. Gordo Las Tunas 17
Sacrifice Fly Óscar Macías La Habana 8
Stolen Bases Eduardo Paret Villa Clara 46

[edit] Pitching

Stat Leader Team Number Notes
Wins José Ibar La Habana 18
Win-Loss Percentage Jorge L. Machado Industriales 0.929 13 - 1
Earned Run Average Ciro S. Licea Granma 1.85 38 ER in 185 IP
Innings Pitched José Ibar La Habana 193.0
Games Pitched Amaury Sanit Industriales 39
Games Started Raúl Valdés
Julio C. Villalón
La Habana
Holguín
24
Games Relieved Amaury Sanit Industriales 38
Complete Games Ciro S. Licea Granma 16
Shutouts Ciro S. Licea Granma 7
Hits Allowed Raúl Valdés La Habana 193
Strikeouts José Ibar La Habana 158
Base-on-Balls Maels Rodríguez Sancti Spíritus 69
Intentional Base-on-Balls Miguel Pérez Holguín 14
Hit Batters Pedro L. Lazo Pinar del Río 21

[edit] Award Winners

The Most Valuable Player (Jugadores más Valiosos) was Michel Enríquez a third baseman with Isla de la Juventud. The Most Valuable Pitcher (Lanzadores más Valiosos) was José Ibar of La Habana. There was no recipient of the Rookie of the Year Award (Novatos del Año).

[edit] Sources

Cuban National League Seasons
1962 1962-1963 1963-1964 1964-1965 1965-1966 1966-1967 1967-1968 1968-1969
1969-1970 1970-1971 1971-1972 1972-1973 1973-1974 1974-1975 1975-1976 1976-1977 1977-1978 1978-1979
1979-1980 1980-1981 1981-1982 1982-1983 1983-1984 1984-1985 1985-1986 1986-1987 1987-1988 1988-1989
1989-1990 1990-1991 1991-1992 1992-1993 1993-1994 1994-1995 1995-1996 1996-1997 1997-1998 1998-1999
1999-2000 2000-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003 2003-2004 2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009
2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013 2013-2014
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