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Roberto Valdés

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Roberto Valdés González (Jabao)

[edit] Biographical Information

Roberto Valdés was a Cuban star pitcher in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Valdés was pitching for the Orientales in 1966-1967, tying Rigoberto Betancourt for the Cuban Serie Nacional lead with five shutouts. On February 14, 1967, he threw a no-hitter against the Granjeros. He had a 2-0, 2.81 record in the 1967 Pan American Games but Cuba settled for a Silver Medal for the last time in a 20th Century Pan American Games.

While with the Mineros, he was arguably Cuba's best hurler in 1968-1969, leading in ERA (1.03, only 22 ER in 192 IP), complete games (20, tied with Emilio Salgado) and shutouts (6, tied with Santiago Mederos). Roberto went 1-0 with a 0.96 ERA in the 1969 Amateur World Series to help Cuba win the Gold. Valdés completed 9 games in the 1970 Serie 10 Millones to tie Mederos and Alfredo García for the most.

In the 1971 Amateur World Series, Roberto went 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA as Cuba won it all. He went 12-0, the best record in the Cuban Serie Nacional in the 20th Century, in 1971-1972; he was two wins behind leader Orlando Figueredo.

In 10 seasons, "Jabao" went 77-40 with a 1.75 ERA and .190 opponent average. He hit .210, thus making himself one of the rare pitchers with a higher personal batting average than an average allowed. As of 2010, he was second in Serie Nacional history in ERA behind only José Antonio Huelga.

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

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