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02/12/2006 Archived Entry: "VIVA BEISBOL Weekly (Mexican Pro Baseball News)"

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2006

CARACAS WIN CARIBBEAN SERIES AS MAZATLAN GOES WINLESS
Venados' Edgar Gonzalez selected to Series “Dream Team”

Although the defending champion Mazatlan Venados struggled throughout the Caribbean Series and wound up 0-6, Edgar Gonzalez was on fire at the plate for the Venados and wound up as the sole Mexican player selected to the CS All-Star Team at the conclusion of the annual tournament in Venezuela last week.
The host Caracas Leones went undefeated over their six games, capping the CS with a 5-4 victory over the Licey Tigres in the final game of the series as a high pop-up to left field in the bottom of the ninth inning eluded two Dominican players and fell to earth, plating the game-winning run in front of a roaring hometown crowd in Maracaibo. The Leones’ Ramon Hernandez was crowned the Most Valuable Player of the CS after winning the triple crown by leading all hitters in batting (.524), homers (3) and RBIs (8), as well as hits (13), total bases (27) and slugging percentage (1.125) over the six-day baseball fest.
Mazatlan finished last in both batting (.207) and pitching (7.36) en route to their 0-6 record, but the Venados actually had a decent chance of winning four of their six games. Edgar Gonzalez, who played second base in Venezuela to make room at his usual slot at third for Oscar Robles, was perhaps the best hitter in the tournament outside Hernandez. Gonzalez tied Hernandez for the homer leadership with three quadrangulars, was second in both batting (.524) and hits (11). For his efforts, Gonzalez was picked for the All-Star Team as the only non-Venezuelan infielder. All three outfielders were members of the Licey Tigres.
In 2007, the Caribbean Series will shift to Puerto Rico, where games will be played in both San Juan and Carolina. The president of the Nicaraguan League has indicated his desire to send a fifth winter league champion from his country to next year’s CS, and his request will be considered in June.


CARIBBEAN SERIES 2006 All-Star Team
1B-Ramon Hernandez, Caracas (.542)
2B-EDGAR GONZALEZ, MAZATLAN (.524)
3B-Luis Rodriguez, Caracas (.310)
SS-Alex Gonzalez, Caracas (.409)
LF-Napolean Calzado, Licey (.321)
CF-Alexis Gomez, Licey (.500)
RF-Timo Perez, Licey (.316)
C-Sandy Martinez, Licey (.342)
DH-Alex Cabrera, Caracas (.360)
LHP-William Collazo, Carolina (0-1/3.38)
RHP-Geremi Gonzalez, Caracas (1-0/1.20)

MAESTROS of MEXICO: Celerino Sanchez, 3B (1964-79)
Sanchez was a sensational third baseman who played with teams in the Mexican League for 13 seasons with 11 winters in the Mexican Pacific League. He was a cornerman with silk hands and sure throws to other bases, and a consistent line drive hitter with some power. His career began in the summer of 1964 with the Mexico City Tigres, with whom he played eight seasons. He later played for the Cordoba Cafeteros, Coahuila and the Leon Bravos.
Celerino Sanchez Perez was born February 3, 1944 in El Guayabal, Veracruz. He only played sparingly in his first four years with the Tigres, and spent some time in the Mexican Southeast League with Campeche, for whom he hit .448 in 1966 to lead all of professional baseball.
The 5’11” 160-pound Sanchez began playing regularly with the Tigres in 1968, and his best season was in 1971, when he collected 159 hits with a .368 batting average. He registered career highs in homers (20) and RBIs (88) in 1968, batting .314 that year. His lifetime average in the summer Liga was .301. As a member of the Hermosillo Naranjeros in the MexPac, Sanchez stroked 681 career hits (85 of them homers), produced 381 RBIs and had a lifetime BA of .288.
In 1972 and 1973, he was in the United States with the New York Yankees, used as a third baseman and sometimes in the outfield. He played in 105 games, finishing with 85 hit and a .242 batting average. Sanchez also spent time with Richmond in the International League when he played north of the border. He came back to Mexico in 1974 with the Tigres and played another five summers before retiring at the relatively young age of 35 after spending the 1979 season with Leon, hitting .264 with ten homers and 39 RBIs over 92 contests.
Celerino Sanchez appears in the record books as an excellent and stylish third baseman and as a consistent batsman. He was calm and steady in difficult situations in the game, but had a tendency to get hurt and thus missed a number of games over the years. He played more than 114 games in the Liga just twice. Sanchez passed away on May 1, 1992 at 48. He was selected to the Salon de la Fama in 1994.
NEXT MAESTRO: Hector Torres, SS (1962-77)

VIVA BEISBOL TRIVIA QUIZ
Last week’s Quiz answer: The first Mexican-born player to be selected in baseball’s amateur draft was shortstop Luis Gomez, who was picked in the seventh round of the 1973 draft by the Minnesota Twins out of UCLA. Born in Guadalajara, Gomez played 82 games for the Twins that year and went on to bat .210 in all or parts of eight major league seasons with Minnesota, Toronto and Atlanta. He was the first ethnic Mexican to play college ball in the USA, although Robert Greenwood (who was born in Mexico) had played earlier for St. Mary’s in California.
This issue’s Quiz: Who was the first Mexican to be selected in the FIRST ROUND of baseball’s amateur draft? (Question courtesy of Dana Eisenga from El Paso)

NOTE TO READERS:
Viva Beisbol continues as the only English-language source of information on professional baseball in Mexico. The newsletter is reverting to a weekly-only production for the upcoming Mexican League season, which will begin next month, although we will provide daily coverage of Mexico’s National Team during the World Baseball Classic in March.
The website at www.VivaBeisbol.Net is continuing to evolve into a source of reference material in the weeks ahead. We are planning on adding a team directory page listing addresses and other contact information for all 24 clubs in both the Liga and MexPac, and will also create separate pages featuring defending statistical champions for both leagues as well.


OTHER GOOD LINKS FOR INFO ON MEXICAN PRO BASEBALL:
www.baseballguru.com (Featuring Carlos Fragoso’s “Latin Insider” column and Viva Beisbol)
www.baseball-reference.com/bio/Mexico_born (Stats of all past and present Mexican major leaguers)
http://depelota.com (Covers Mexican pro baseball, including the independent leagues)
www.esto.com (One of Mexico’s top sports papers, and home to Tomas “Tommy al Bat” Morales)
www.hitazos.com.mx (Top columnists and prime coverage of Mexican baseball)
www.ligadelpacifico.com.mx (The official Mexican Pacific League website, with lots of great info)
www.lmb.com.mx (The official Mexican League website, and a good one)
www.minorleaguebaseball.com (Featuring Mexican League standings and statistics)
www.mlb.com (With good, informative stories on Mexican baseball from subscriber Jesse Sanchez)
www.oursportscentral.com (Great site for minor league sports, and Viva Beisbol’s original “home”)
www.planeta.com (Not a baseball site, but great stories on Mexican baseball by subscriber Jon Clark)
www.purobeisbol.com.mx (Coverage of the LMB and LMP, plus a good column by Fernando Ballasteros)
www.salondelafama.com (Official site of Mexico’s Hall of Fame, and a treasure trove of information)
www.worldbaseball.net (Australian site with info on baseball in many countries, including Viva Beisbol)

FOR MORE INFO ON MEXICAN PRO BASEBALL, VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT www.VivaBeisbol.Net

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