By Milton H. Jamail
Notwithstanding Venezuela is sandwiched among soccer-mad countries—Brazil and Colombia—baseball is its nationwide hobby and fervour. but until eventually the overdue Nineteen Eighties few specialist groups actively scouted and constructed gamers there. This publication is ready the guy who replaced all that and taken Venezuela into significant League Baseball in a massive way. While different groups have been seeking to the Dominican Republic for brand new expertise, Houston Astros' scout Andr?s Reiner observed an untapped area of interest in Venezuela. Venezuelan Bust, Baseball increase recounts how, over the subsequent fifteen years, Reiner signed approximately 100 gamers, nineteen of whom reached the majors. The tales of those players—among them Bobby Abreu, Joh?n Santana, Melvin Mora, Carlos Guill?n, and Freddy Garc?a—are interwoven with Reiner’s personal, jointly making a attention-grabbing portrait of a curious personality within the annals of activities and a richly textured photo of the hole of Venezuela as baseball’s new frontier. numerous interviews expand and deepen the story’s insights into how the scouting approach works, how Reiner labored inside it, and the way his efforts have affected the game of baseball in Venezuela and the importance of Venezuela on the earth of significant League Baseball. (20080616)
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Additional info for Venezuelan bust, baseball boom: Andrés Reiner and scouting on the new frontier
Con esa cara? )” inquired Fidel. Andrés replied that he was born in Hungry. ” asked Fidel. “You didn’t invite us,” responded Andrés. ” “Sure,” Andrés said, and that was the end of the encounter. Fidel went back to glad-handing, and Andrés got ready to board the charter back to Florida and spring training. Although the Astros are aware of Cuban talent when and if it becomes available, no Cuban player has been signed and developed by the Houston organization since José Arcia in 1961. Pacheco still scouted and signed players in Venezuela, but when he became ill in the early 1980s, the Astros focused their Latin American recruiting almost exclusively on the Dominican Republic.
Along the wall on one side of the booth is a ﬂoor-to-ceiling photomural of the stadium. Directly behind is a mural of a pastoral scene at Estadio Los Samanes in 1914. Further along in the exhibit area is an intriguing photo of the Crisﬁeld Crabbers, one of the two teams that inaugurated the new ballpark in 1928. Other than the two games in 1902 played by the crew of the uss Marietta, no baseball team from the United States had visited Venezuela before Crisﬁeld did. Where was Crisﬁeld, I wondered?
There is a photo of the 1895 Caracas team and one of the original bats used in the ﬁrst game. On May 23, 1895, the twenty-two members of El Caracas Base Ball Club split into two groups — red and black — and played to the delight of 2,000 fans. In the summer and fall of 1895, they faced each other every Sunday. In September of that year, grandstands were constructed and improvements made to the ﬁeld El Stand del Este, Venezuela’s ﬁrst baseball park. The message here is that baseball took hold and became the 17 It’s Their Game Too dominant sport in Venezuela, unusual on the South America continent where soccer prevails elsewhere.