Yadel Marti’s Near-Perfect Game for Cuba Was Also Only Near-Historical

Martiin1_2The perfect game almost authored by Cuban ace Yadel Marti yester in Taichung–had Marti actually completed it–would hardly have been the first in World Cup history. The honor belongs to Mexico’s David Garcia, who silenced Guatemalan bats in World Cup XVI in Cartagena, Colombia (February 13, 1965). The second World Cup no-hitter (not a perfect game) came in Havana (actually a game played in Pinar del Rio) in 1971 (World Cup XIX) and was authored by Colombia’s Nelson Garcia versus Italy. Two more no hit and no run masterpeices followed a mere year later in Managua (Puerto Rico’s Sandalio Quinonez versus Costa Rica, and Panama’s Juanperezperez_3 Ronaldo Montero over Germany. Cuba enjoyed its first World Cup masterpiece in Havana’s latin American Stadium in 1973, when Juan Perez Perez whitewashed none other than Team Venezuela. The World Cup no-hit parade continued in Italy in 1978 where the trick was turned by both Nicaragua’s Cesar Monge (versus Belgium) and japan’s Yasuyuki Yamamoto (against the same hapless Belgians, who apparently forgot to include any bats in the luggage they brought with them to Parma). These latter two masterpieces were the first of only seven-innings duration, both games being shortened by the knock-out ten-run rule. Marti’s masterpiece, had it happened, would thus have been the ninth in World Cup history, but only the second perfect game, and only the second no-hit "perfecto" by a Cuban hurler. These and other details of year-by-year World Cup competitions can all be found in Chapter 7 ("Havana as Amateur Baseball Capital of the World") in my book A History of Cuban Baseball, 1864-2006 (McFarland, 2007).

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