Written by Rubel Vega
After 13 years of absence from the event under the Five Rings, baseball is back on Olympus, and while having a team representing our island in the tournament was very surprising, the truth is that there was no shortage of Cuban presence on the podium. awards.
Raul ValdesBorn in Havana almost 44 years ago, he debuted in 1996 with “Los Vaqueros” in the National Series, making an unforgettable trio of starters with José Ibar and Lemay de la Rosa, who led that province to be among the best in all the country .
After 6 seasons, two of them with 13 or more wins, the left-footed player from the former Havana County left the country and in 2005 signed with the Chicago Cubs Organization, but it wasn’t until 2010, with the New York Mets, that he debuted in the majors.
After 5 seasons and a choppy move, in 2014 he saw activity for the last time in MLB, but only to continue a pilgrimage across various countries and teams throughout his extensive career.
The Dominican Republic, Japan and Mexico are some of the destinations where the world class baseball player has made his mark with quality. But it was undoubtedly in Cesky, where he achieved the greatest achievements.
With the various representatives of this island near Cuba, Raul Valdes was present in 6 editions of the Caribbean Series, with 4 wins and 1 defeat and the title in three of them (2010, 2012 and 2020).
The Dominicans were nationalized, this veteran warrior of a thousand battles like the country that greeted him throughout the process of qualifying for Olympic Games There he achieved his team’s first tournament success, against Puerto Rico, and there he allowed ERA in seven rounds and hit 7.
In his second round against Canada, he allowed four in seven rounds, but had no decision. In total, Valdes finished with a 3.86 ERA in the tournament and delivered 12 strokes in 14 rounds of action.
Already in the Olympic tournament, Valdes threw five and two thirds innings in which he allowed only one fight against South Korea, although he came out without a decision after loyalist Luis Felipe Castillo could not keep the advantage.
In the bronze match, against the same Korean team, Valdes again got the ball back, and although he was not in his best days, his team showed a brutal attack, to dominate the former kings, 10 goals against 6.
The Cuban left player had allowed two runs in the first four rounds, but in the fifth round he was severely punished and without being able to get off, charged with 4 runs of the half, leaving the game with a 6×5 defect.
Despite this, his team responded with a historic 5-race race of eighth, to pass the game and thus achieve a bronze medal, the first medal in the Dominican Olympics, not just in baseball, but in any team sport. . Undoubtedly a tremendous result.
There were no surprises in the final table, the medalists are the winners of the World Classics, Japan, Gold, USA, Silver and Dominican Republic, Bronze, which shows that today, at the national level, they are the top three teams in the world. the world.
For the Dominican Republic, she was the 5th metal in these Olympics, 3 silver and 2 bronze and is 65th place in the medal table by countries. For Cuba, which has always been a finalist in each of the first five editions (1992-2008), Raul Valdes, at least under another flag, represents the island’s baseball game on the Olympic podium once again.
Leave a Reply