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Reviewing José Abreu’s Record-Book Rookie Big League Season

An apparent shoo-in to walk off with 2014 American League Rookie of the Year honors, José Dariel Abreu has now completed a summer-long debut performance in Chicago that surprised even the most ardent advocates who had watched him tear up Cuban League pitching for much of the past half-dozen winter seasons. Abreu hardly flashed on to the big league scene as a lightning bolt shot out of nowhere; he was hardly an “unknown quantity” for those who had followed the Cuban domestic national pastime across recent winter seasons.

Reviewing José Abreu’s Record-Book Rookie Big League Season

An apparent shoo-in to walk off with 2014 American League Rookie of the Year honors, José Dariel Abreu has now completed a summer-long debut performance in Chicago that surprised even the most ardent advocates who had watched him tear up Cuban League pitching for much of the past half-dozen winter seasons. Abreu hardly flashed on to the big league scene as a lightning bolt shot out of nowhere; he was hardly an “unknown quantity” for those who had followed the Cuban domestic national pastime across recent winter seasons.

Revitalized Team Cuba Regains Some Much-Needed Glory during Opening Days of Mexico’s Central American Games

Cuba’s top ballplayers strolled onto the field at Beto Avila Stadium in Veracruz this past week attired in classy new uniforms and also brimming with apparent confidence on the eve of a Central American Games tournament they have virtually dominated across the past nine decades (15 championships in 18 appearances). But the current squad led by frenetic skipper Victor Mesa was for all its historical trappings still more of a mystery and a puzzle than the apparent juggernaut outfit of the not-too-distant past.

C.A.C.'2014: Cuba Puts a Few Ghosts to Rest with a One-Sided Victory in the Veracruz Games

It was a long-awaited baseball resurrection of sorts and it most appropriately came in an event Cuba has so long dominated. The Central American Games tournament, first held in Mexico City in 1926, has now crowned the Cubans as it baseball champions 15 times in only 22 sessions – a even more meaningful domination when one remembers that Cuba sat on the sidelines (mostly for political reasons) twice in the 1950s and twice more during the past dozen-year span (2002 and 2010).

MLB General Managers Continue Their Futile Search for the Next José Abreu

José Abreu’s celebrated Rookie-of-Year trophy has so far had little time to gather much dust and already a highly publicized search has been launched across Major League Baseball camps for what will hopefully be the next Abreu, or next Yasiel Puig, or at the very least perhaps the next Rusney Castillo or Jorge Soler.

Cuban League Game Redefines Meaning of “Walk-Off Homer”

There have indeed been many bizarre, improbable, almost credibility-stretching games played in the Cuban League over the past half-century of “revolutionary” baseball. In fact it might well be claimed that if the post-1962 Cuban circuit is truly unique among the world’s top professional leagues then it remains so above all else for its rare mixture of the improbable and unlikely with some of the most dazzling on-field action found anywhere in the baseball universe.

Cuban League Game Redefines Meaning of “Walk-Off Homer”

There have indeed been many bizarre, improbable, almost credibility-stretching games played in the Cuban League over the past half-century of “revolutionary” baseball. In fact it might well be claimed that if the post-1962 Cuban circuit is truly unique among the world’s top professional leagues then it remains so above all else for its rare mixture of the improbable and unlikely with some of the most dazzling on-field action found anywhere in the baseball universe.

Peter's Interview for "Outta the Parkway" on SeamHeads.com

Listen to Pete Bjarkman talk about the baseball impact of thawing relations between the USA and Cuba (on podcast radio with SEAMHEADS and Ted Leavengood) …

Cuba Strikes Gold with its First Caribbean Series Crown in More Than a Half-Century

A spirited 2014 Cuban National Series champion Pinar del Río ball club, reinforced with some of the Caribbean island’s biggest stars, staged a rather stunning comeback in San Juan on the final weekend of Caribbean Series #57 and thus made history in the process. The inspired win erased the deep disappointments of last year’s long-awaited return to Caribbean Series competition, where the country had not appeared since a 1960 title by the professional league Cienfuegos Elefantes closed out the First Stage of the annual winter league championships.

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