Pedro Chávez González
Pedro Chávez González
- Bats Right, Throws Right
Pedro Chávez was a top star in the early years of the Cuban Serie Nacional and later was a successful manager.
Pedro won a Triple Crown in the minor Pedro Betancourt League in 1957. In the 1959 Pan American Games, he went 5 for 9 for a Cuban squad that finished a disappointing 4th; had he qualified, he would have led the event in average. After the Cuban Revolution, he remained with the Cuban national team for their first event under the Fidel Castro regime. He starred in their title run in the 1961 Amateur World Series, hitting .459 with an event-best 19 RBI and 17 hits to tie J. Fernandez for the lead. Had a Amateur World Series MVP been picked that year, he would have likely been a strong candidate.
Chávez hit .438 with 13 RBI in the 1963 Pan American Games, again leading a major event in RBI. He was second to Urbano González in average among Cuba's regulars and Cuba won the Gold. He excelled for the Occidentales in the 1963-1964 Cuban Serie Nacional, winning the batting title (.333), RBI crown (27) and leading with 7 triples. For that, he won the MVP award. He led the 1966 Central American and Caribbean Games in average (.444), hits (12) and RBI (6) to power Cuba to another title.
The outfielder kept it back in 1966-1967, leading the league with a .318 average, 78 hits, 4 sacrifice flies (having twice tied in that) and 10 intentional walks (tied with Agustín Marquetti). He became the first two-time MVP of the Castro era; 12 years later, Wilfredo Sánchez would top him with three MVPs. Through 1989, they were the only repeat MVPs in Cuban Serie Nacional annals, though others later joined them.
Pedro hit only .217 in the 1967 Pan American Games and Cuba fell to a Silver in an upset loss to Team USA; it would be his last playing time for the national team. He had hit .381 with 45 RBI in 197 AB for them. He remained active as a player for a short while. In the first Cuban All-Star Series (1968), he led with a .357 average and his 10 hits tied Felipe Sarduy and Eulogio Osorio for the lead. Overall, he batted .287/.390/.400 in 8 seasons in the Serie Nacional, with 215 runs and 192 RBI in 386 games. He stole 20 bases in 33 tries and hit 22 homers, while fielding .990. In addition to the outfield, he played first base.
He later managed the Vegueros (48-16 in 1970-1971, 38-40 in 1971-1972), Industriales (53-25 and a title in 1972-1973 and 39-39 in 1973-1974), Constructores (67-69 from 1974-1975 through 1976-1977), He returned to the Industriales and was 22-27 in 1978-1979. From 1980-1981 through 1984-1985, he guided the Metropolitanos to a 133-181 record, though his 34 wins in 1981-1982 were a high for that weak club until 1996-1997.
During the period he led the Metropolitanos, he managed the Cuban national team for the first time, winning the 1984 Amateur World Series. He guided the Industriales again from 1985-1986 through 1987-1988, going 111-42 and winning his second title as a manager (during 1985-1986). He managed Cuba to titles in the 1986 Central American and Caribbean Games and 1986 Amateur World Series, his last stints managing Cuba. He guided the Industriales for a fourth run in 1994-1995 and went 35-28.