Home > Miguel Iturria Savón > The Industriales Celebrate

The Industriales Celebrate

When the new reliever Joan Socarrás struck out Villa Clara’s last batter, on Thursday, April 1, at 2:10 in the morning, the Industriales players threw themselves on the ground of “Sandino” and began the celebration of the capital’s team, having taken their 12th title in the National Series, after consecutively defeating Sancti Spiritus and La Habana, who took third and fourth place at the end of the semifinals.

The awards ceremony took place at dawn on Thursday and lasted until 3”00 on Saturday on the Malecon in Havana, where Van Van and Paul F. G. Performed.

Given that baseball is the national passion, the team left Santa Clara along the central highway, accompanied by a caravan of cars, buses and motorcycles that traveled almost 300 kilometers to El Cerro.

In the capital municipalities of El Cotorro, San Miguel del Padrón,  and 10th of October, a human tide cheered the athletes, whose posters had been bought days earlier at the Latin American Stadium. Thousands of children, young people, and even the elderly, waited for the caravan to pass with blue caps and shirts, trumpets, flags and lion mascots, the team emblem.

The grand festival lasted for hours. There were congas. Onlookers took photos or movies with their cellphones. The most euphoric chanted “Industriales Champions! Beat Las Villas!” charting the conflict between the finalists.

The Industriales, winner of the most Cuba baseball championships ever, has been affected by the exodus abroad of its principle players over the last decade, seeking Major league contracts. At the start of the series almost no one would have bet on them to win, given the poor performance of previous seasons and the number of rookie players, which reveals the inexhaustible depth of Cuban sports, despire the economic crisis and social despair.

The joy returned to the faces of the capital’s residents and filled the streets. The Industrials grabbed the title from Villa Clara in 1996; they lost it the next year to Pinar del Rio, and recovered it in 2003, 2004 and 2006. Santiago de Cuba won the trophy in 1999, 2000, 2001,, 2005, 2007 and 2008; while Holguin savored it in 2002. Once again, Villa Clara fell with their boots on.

Among the Industriales’ heroes are batters such as Malleta, Urgellés, Rudy Reyes and Tabares; pitchers such as Ian Rendón, Arley Sanchez and Osdysamel Despaigne and the rookies Rivero and Socarrás, who fill the imagination of the capital. Germain Mesa stars in his first title as manager.

The 49th National Baseball Series came to an end. The industriales are celebrating and Habaneros too. A week later the euphoria continues.

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