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Aquino Abreu

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Tomás Aquino Abreu Aguila

  • Throws Right

[edit] Biographical Information

Aquino Abreu threw the first two no-hitters in the Cuban Serie Nacional; he was also the only Cuban hurler to hurl no-hitters in consecutive starts (through 2011).

Abreu hit five batters for the Azucareros in the 1962 Serie Nacional, tying Franklin Aspillaga for the league lead in the first Serie Nacional. He had a 1.50 ERA in the 1962 Central American and Caribbean Games, when Cuba surprisingly did not win a Medal. In the 1963 Pan American Games, he was 2-0 with a 0.50 ERA. He led the event in wins and tied Modesto Verdura and Manuel Alarcón for the most wins as Cuba took home the Gold. At the plate, Abreu was 2 for 2 (he was never a big hitter in his native Cuba, at .134 for his career). The little right-hander led the 1963-1964 Serie Nacional in innings (102 2/3), walks (71), intentional walks (12) and hit batsmen (7).

Aquino made history in January 1966. On January 16th, the Centrales hurler tossed a no-hitter against the Occidentales. It was the first Serie Nacional no-hitter. On the 25th, he blanked the Industriales for his Johnny Vander Meer-style consecutive no-nos. Both games were accompanied by arm pain; the second was aided by some fine outfield defense. A couple of weeks earler, on December 28, 1965, he had pitched 19 scoreless innings for his team against Orientales before giving up the lone run of the gave (and being charged with the loss) in the 20th inning. He was also the losing pitcher in that year's All-Star Game.

The "junkballer" (as per Cuban baseball historian Peter Bjarkman) was 1-0 with a 3.29 ERA in the 1966 Central American and Caribbean Games to post Cuba's highest ERA. Cuba won the Gold. Abreu again hit well, 2 for 5. It was his last stint with the Cuban national team. In 1966-1967, Abreu tied Roberto Valdés and Rolando Macías for the Serie Nacional lead with 15 starts. He was 10-1 for the Azucareros in 1968-1969 to lead the league in winning percentage.

Overall, Abreu was 63-65 with 10 saves, 9 shutouts, a 2.26 ERA and .210 opponent average in 1,116 innings in Cuba. He walked 412 and struck out 718. As of 2010, he was 11th in Castro-era Cuba in ERA despite having never led his league during a pitcher's era.

Sources: 2005 Guia Official de Beisbol, A History of Cuban Baseball by Peter Bjarkman

[edit] Further Reading

  • Peter Bjarkman: "Aquino Abreu: Baseball's Other Double No-Hit Pitcher", The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 43, Number 1 (spring 2014), pp. 68-76.

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