Cuba’s 48th National Series has now culminated with a maiden championship for the Habana Province Cowboys, only the second time (the others being 1983 and 2002) in a quarter-century when a first-time-ever champion has been crowned. Habana rode the league’s best pitching (Miguel Alfredo González, Yadier Pedroso, Yulieski González, Jonder Martínez and Miguel Lahera) to a five-game triumph over upstart Villa Clara in the championship finals. The month-long post-season festival included numerous surprises and a healthy dose of rather bizarre twists and turns of the kind that make the Cuban League baseball’s most exciting and entertaining venue. But the most surprsing element of all perhaps was the fact that none of the headline stars of 2009’s post-season action were players who had participated on Cuba’s talented World Baseball Classic roster last March. A strong signal has again been sent that Cuban baseball is constantly renewing its seemingly inexhaustible talent supply.
For a complete summary of this year’s Cuban League post-season action, see my full on-the-scene report at http://www.baseballdecuba.com/newsContainer.asp?id=1657.