1979 Pan American Games

From BR Bullpen

The 1979 Pan American Games were held from July 2 through July 11, 1979 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Cuban national team won their third straight Gold, while Team USA failed to medal for the first time in 8 Pan American Games.

The champion Cuba team was led by Braudilio Vinent (4-0, 0.44), the tourney leader in wins and innings (20 1/3), who made up for a disappointing effort by several Cuban hurlers. Several Cuban hitters led in offensive categories - Armando Capiro (average, .500), Pedro Jose Rodriguez (.500 average, 5 home runs), Luis Casanova (13 hits in 35 AB), Agustin Marquetti (13 hits in 32 AB, 13 RBI) and Fernando Sanchez (11 runs).

Finishing second was the Dominican Republic national team (7-1; a 9-0 loss to Cuba the lone weak spot. They had the ERA leader, Orlando de Leon, who did not allow an earned run). Cecilio Guante (2-0, 0.52) also dazzled on the hill. Future major leaguer Rafael Belliard hit .375. Enrique Cruz hit two homers and drove in eight and was named the All-Star at 1B. Their manager was Rafael Luis López. They were followed by the Puerto Rican national team (6-2), for whom Jesus Feliciano struck out 22, most in the tourney.

The disappointing Americans were 5-3 despite having future major leaguers Terry Francona (13 hits and 3 triples to tie for the lead), Mike Gallego, Tim Leary, Ronn Reynolds, Brian Snyder, Mike Madden, Paul Zuvella and Craig Lefferts.

The Bahamas were 3-5, as was the Venezuelan national team. Finishing at 2-6 was the Colombian national team, one win ahead of Team Canada and the Mexican national team, who pulled up the rear.

See 1979 Pan American Games (Rosters)

Sources: A History of Cuban Baseball by Peter Bjarkman, 1979 Dominican national team