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En la pelota: La muerte trágica de todo un equipo

Publicado: 12/09/2012 09:01

luis aparicio y demás famosos del beisbol

"Todo el mundo desea tener una larga vida, pero nadie quiere ser viejo"... Pacomio.

Manuel Ramírez, de Maiquetía, pregunta: "¿Cómo fue lo de la tragedia de Río Verde?".

Amigo Manolo: "En la tarde del domingo 11 de enero de 1948", el equipo de Santiago, Dominicana, jugó en Barahona dentro del Campeonato Nacional de Beisbol Amateur 1947-´48. Habían llegado allá en un Douglas DC-3 de Dominicana de Aviación. Por cierto que hice dos documentales para televisión sobre este caso.

Durante el vuelo de regreso, en el mismo avión, se estrelló contra las montañas de Río Verde, y murieron todos los que ocupaban la nave. Entre ellos los estelares del equipo, Toñito y Aquiles Martínez, catcher y segunda base, respectivamente, quienes eran hermanos del famoso shorstop Horacio Martínez, quien no iba en el avión; el mánager Pedro A. Báez, "Grillo A"; los lanzadores Juan Ramón "Bombo" Ramos, Ventura "El Loro" Escalante, Francisco Del Villar, José Dolores "Pepillo" Aybar, Antonio Dévora, Alberto Tomás "Mimo" Estrella, José "Boquita" Jiménez, y Maximiliano "Puchulán" Rivera; infielders, Rafael "Papiro" Raposo, Manuel "Sancho" Tatis y Miguel A. "Tatis" Rodríguez; outfielders, Víctor "Papito Lucas" St. Clair, Fernando "Nano" Valerio y Leonte "Yeyo" Hernández.

El receptor Enrique "El Mariscal" Lantigua fue el único sobreviviente de ese drama, porque decidió regresar por tierra, debido a una premonición que recibió durante el juego, sobre una tragedia aérea.

Antonio Leira, de Caracas, sugiere: "Muy interesantes las alineaciones de todos los
tiempos que publicó. Ud. podría presentar otras dos alineaciones, pero con los mejores jugadores que haya visto en cualquier tiempo y en cualquier liga. ¡Anímese, por favor!".

Amigo Tonino: Vi jugar a la mayoría de quienes integran mis dos primeras alineaciones. Por eso, equipo uno...: Rickey Hénderson LF. Luis Aparicio hijo SS, Vidal López RF, Héctor Espino 1B, Brooks Róbinson 3B, Tetelo Vargas CF, Roberto Alomar 2B, Carlton Fisk C. Pitchers abridores...: Pedro Martínez, Juan Marichal, Johán Santana y Nolan Ryan. Relevistas, Marino Rivera, Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Rich (Goose) Gossage, Lee Smith, Trevor Hoffman y John Franco.

Equipo dos: Pete Rose 1B, Rod Carew 2B, Willie Mays CF, Johnny Bench C, Hank Aaron LF, Mike Schmidt 3B, Roberto Clemente RF, Ozzie Smith SS. Los pitchers abridores, León Day, Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax y Tom Seaver. En el bullpén, Steve Carlton, Whitey Ford, Phil Niekro, Bruce Sutter, Don Drysdale, Jim Palmer y Don Sutton.

Pedro Díaz, de Maracaibo, pregunta: "¿Por qué el beisbol cubano no es profesional ahora, y será posible que vuelva a serlo?".

Amigo Petro: En 1960, Fidel Castro eliminó todo deporte profesional en la isla. Quizá cuando no gobiernen los hermanos Castro cambie el panorama.

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Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto, incluso un lector como tú.
Jbeisbol5@aol.com
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