1959 Pan American Games

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The 1959 Pan American Games were the first Pan American Games held in the USA and the third ever. They were held at Comiskey Park and Wrigley Field in Chicago, IL from August 28 through September 6. They were the only Pan Am Games (through 2020) won by Venezuela.

Flag of Venezuela Venezuela went 6-1 to claim the title. José Flores led the event with 3 triples while Jose Perez was 2-0 on the mound, as was 18-year-old Luis Penalver, about to embark on a 19-year minor league career, mostly in AAA. Venezuela wrapped up the tournament with a 6-2 win over Puerto Rico in the gold medal game.

Flag of Puerto Rico Puerto Rico won Silver, thanks to a 5-1 record. Irmo Figueroa led the competition in average (.500) while Carlos Pizarro had the most hits (12). Reinaldo Vazquez led in RBI (10) and tied for the home run lead with 2.

Flag of United States United States won Bronze at 4-3; their 3-2 10-inning win over Cuba helped them lock up the Medal. Alan Hall tied for the homer lead with two. Charles Davis had the best ERA (0.69). Future Hall-of-Famer Lou Brock was 1 for 10. They were managed by J. Kyle Anderson.

Flag of Cuba Cuba had a very disappointing tourney, going 2-4 and failing to take a medal, a contrast with the upcoming Fidel Castro era teams that won 10 Pan Am Games Gold Medals in a row. Urbano Gonzalez hit .353 and Pedro Chavez was 5 for 9.

Flag of Mexico Mexico was 5th at 3-2. Roberto Cota led the event with 5 doubles. Mauro Ruiz went 2-0, the only non-Venezuelan to post that record.

Flag of Costa Rica Costa Rica had one of their best events ever, going 3-3 to finish 6th. They were followed by Flag of Nicaragua Nicaragua (7th, 2-4) and Flag of Dominican Republic Dominican Republic (8th, 2-3, managed by Horacio Martinez). Flag of Brazil Brazil pulled up the rear, losing all six of their games.

Source: A History of Cuban Baseball by Peter Bjarkman

Also see 1959 Pan American Games (Rosters)

Pan American Games

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