1871: Campeonatos

seed / cabezaLiga Betanceswins / triunfoslosses / derrotasLiga Hostoswins / triunfoslosses / derrotas
#1
The logo of the Eléctricos de Guayanilla: a bold red "G" in square type on a yellow circle bordered in red.
2711
The logo of the Artesanos de Las Piedras: a cursive dark green "LP" on a dark blue circle, bordered in silver-green-silver.
2810
#2
The logo of the Maceteros de Vega Alta: a purple "VA" in an angular font with sharp edges, bordered in white and black, on a golden background dotted with black, bordered with black and then purple.
2414
The logo of the Polluelos de Aibonito: a lowercase serif "a" in orange, bordered in black, on a blue circle bordered in black, then orange, then black.
2612
#3
The logo of the Picudos de Ceiba: a "C" in white offset type, bordered in black and then gold, on a blue circle speckled with darker blue, bordered in black and then green.
2414
The logo of the Criollos de Caguas: black "CC" in bold serif type, bordered in white, on a gold circle with very faint black patterning, bordered in black.
2612
#4
The logo of the Chupacabras de Canóvanas: gold "CC" letters in thick type, bordered in white, on top of a black circle striped thoroughly with purple, bordered with purple, blue, and purple.
2315
The logo of the Capitanes de Mayagüez: a red "M" on a navy circle bordered in red.
2414
#5
The logo of the Tiburones de Aguadilla: A navy-blue "A" with weird irregular stylings in blue, against a yellow circle pockmarked with navy dots, bordered in blue and then navy.
2315
The logo of the Piratas de Quebradillas: a blue "P" in ragged, map-like font, on a white circle with brick patterns in black, bordered by blue and then brown.
2414
#6
The logo of the Maratonistas de Coamo: a pale golden "C" in thick block type on a white circle bordered in pale gold, black, and pale gold again.
2216
The logo of the Montañeses de Utuado: a squarely-built light blue "U" bordered in white and brown on a brown circle, bordered in black and light blue.
2414
#7
The logo of the Combatientes de Cabo Rojo: a gold "CR" in modern font, bordered in black, on a green circle studded with black dots, bordered in navy-white-navy.
2117
The logo of the Próceres de Barranquitas: a very fancy white "B" on a purple circle bordered in black-gold-black.
2315
#8
The logo of the Patriotas de Lares: a light blue "L" in Old English type, bordered in black on a white circle bordered in red and sky-blue.
2117
The logo of the Poetas de Toa Alta: "TA" in black Gothic font, bordered in white, on a purple glossy circle bordered in black-gold-black.
2216
#9
The logo of the Murciélagos de Camuy: a teal "C" in italic athletic block type bordered in white, on a purple circle with black patterning, bordered in black.
2018
The logo of the Esqueletos de Vieques: a narrow red "V" bordered in white and then black, on a purple circle where every other pixel is in black, bordered with black-red-black.
2117
#10
The logo of the Cuervos de Patillas: a purple "P" in square font, bordered in blue, on a black circle studded with blue, bordered in blue and then purple.
2018
The logo of the Mogotes de Florida: a red "F" bordered in black on a green circle, bordered in yellow and red.
2117
#11
The logo of the Caciques de Orocovis: a gold, wide O bordered in black and white on a dark green circle, which itself is bordered in gold and brown.
2018
The logo of the Petateros de Sabana Grande: a teal "SG" in athletic script, bordered in black and then yellow, on a purple circle studded with teal dots, bordered in teal-white-teal.
2218
#12
The logo of the Conquistadores de Guaynabo: A silver "G" in thin script on a green circle, bordered in black and silver.
2019
The logo of the Avancinos de Villalba: a gold slightly cursive "V" on a navy circle, bordered in white and teal.
2018
#13
The logo of the Guabaleros de Comerío: a goofy orange "C" in quirky type, bordered in white and then black, on a seafoam green circle with orange dots, bordered in orange, red, and orange.
1623
The logo of the Macabeos de Trujillo Alto: a golden "TA" bordered in in violet, on a white circle bordered in deep blue and then gold.
1820
#14 / WC1
The logo of the Petroleros de Peñuelas: navy and gold "PP" letters in modern type, bordered in white, on a black circle bordered in navy, white and navy again.
2414
The logo of the Cerros de Jayuya: a dark green "J" in boss type, on a white circle bordered in silver and dark green.
2315
#15 / WC2
The logo of the Soles de Luquillo: a dark red "L" in fancy curlicue font on a background of gold with black circles, bordered in black and then white.
2315
The logo of the Santos de Adjuntas: a green gothic "A" bordered in white on a purple circle streaked with black dots, bordered with black and then white.
2117
#16 / WC3
The logo of the Guardianes de Dorado: a green "D" in fancy script on a black circle gridded with green, bordered in green.
2216
The logo of the Atléticos de San Germán: a black "SG" in Gothic type on a pink circle bordered in white and then black.
2219

Espinosa stopped to let the troopers march by, their rifles jutting out over their proud shoulders in the heavy black of the Urban Guard.

He had not been to the capital in two months, and in that time it appeared to have acquired a certain military character.

Ironic, considering there were far fewer soldiers about than in March, but the ones then had held their guns loosely and walked leisurely in their bonhomie, as befit a victorious army in command of its own capital.

La Central was small then. The entire operation of the Liga Nacional Puertorriqueña fit in the four or five offices that abutted a single hall on the ground floor of some sinecurial agency of the colonial government, and no one so much as glanced Espinosa’s way as he entered the Commissioner’s office.

If small, too, it was well-appointed, with a writing desk of solid wood and shelves of books that, for the most part, had nothing to do with the sport the Commissioner administered. A single shelf, set slightly above him, held some copies of Chadwick‘s Beadle Dime Base-Ball Player, but for them the room might have been occupied by any other functionary of some importance on the island.

 

“Good to see you, Agustín,” the Commissioner said, his hands hidden behind two of the shorter stacks of paper on his desk. “I trust you had a safe journey from Dorado.”

“Not the whole of it, sir, but the peril was almost entirely on my own side.”

 

The Commissioner nodded and gestured to one of the chairs, which Espinosa took gratefully, and occupied himself in rummaging through his stack while Espinosa opened his notes.

 

“Have you the votes for the double cycle?” Espinosa asked as they both flipped pages. “If not—”

“I guarantee you that this will not be a thing for votes. The moment the patronos see how much they will profit, they’ll believe they came up with it: you already know.”

“Doubtlessly. And as for the calesas?”

“Neither will they resist that, not after what happened to Camuy and CoamoAnd before you ask,” he added, noticing Espinosa’s quick move to another page, “no, we have not heard from the new government, which is understandable.”

“One would think they would take an interest, sir. A significant portion—”

“Agustín, General Ro—pardon me, President Rojas,” the Commissioner said, and Espinosa found his boss’  valiant effort to suppress a sneer quite inspiring, “is more than occupied with organizing the departure of the Spaniards from his precious beach at Arecibo. In the end, no statue can be built where there are still tents and boats on the sand. I would even say that he is not even a little concerned with what the Liga Nacional Puertorriqueña does between its seasons.”

 

There was a short pause. The Commissioner put a sheet of paper in front of him. A letter from another of the seguidores, a man Espinosa knew well. They had had coffee in Dorado before he left.

 

“What’s more important, Agustín, is that I am fairly sure you already knew all of that, as this letter tells me.” Espinosa stopped admiring the man’s handwriting and looked his superior in the eye. “So be kind enough to tell me why you’re actually here.”

 

Espinosa breathed. So Diego had gone along after all—they had parted without him being able to ensure his cooperation.

 

“Sir,” he said finally, “I know you want me to rejoin the almanaqueros, but I think I have a better idea.”

 

The Commissioner arched both eyebrows, sat back, and gestured his interest.

campeonato de liga betances

The logo of the Soles de Luquillo: a dark red "L" in fancy curlicue font on a background of gold with black circles, bordered in black and then white.

VS.

The logo of the Guardianes de Dorado: a green "D" in fancy script on a black circle gridded with green, bordered in green.

#15 Soles (.605) vs. #16 Guardianes (.579)

Of the ten men that had taken the mound for Dorado in the season, José Pérez was the only one who turned out something like a good performance—it’s estimated that his presence alone is what had the Guardianes three games over .500 when the torneo rolled around.

He had proceeded to start a grand majority of Dorado’s games in the postseason, and though his role as a pitcher was mostly to give Pedro Sepeda, Rafael Arámbula, and José López room to play around the bases, he relished knowing every inning he got gave them more chances to work their magic.

In Game 2, Pérez held the Brillantes to just four hits. It was the first time a pitcher had thrown a shutout during the postseason, and he felt a particular hero at tying the series at one game apiece, especially as the Limpios had given him just one run for the first seven innings.

Luquillo, unfortunately, had discovered they had a secret weapon in Efraín Castellano, who had finished the season with seven very strong starts before becoming the main Soles moundsman in the postseason.

Between Castellano’s infuriating habit of throwing fastballs in strange locations, and the mounting plate prowess of left fielder Lázaro Enríquez, whose skill in the regular season was exceeded by his incredible propensity to drive in much-needed runs with bloop singles into the outfield, Luquillo turned out to be simply too annoying for the offense Dorado had only just begun to fine-tune.

Soles (#15) win the pennant, 4-1.

campeonato de liga hostos

The logo of the Mogotes de Florida: a red "F" bordered in black on a green circle, bordered in yellow and red.

VS.

The logo of the Cerros de Jayuya: a dark green "J" in boss type, on a white circle bordered in silver and dark green.

#10 Mogotes (.553) vs. #14 Cerros (.605)

There were quite a few reasons why Jesús Álvarez was a strange first-round pick for Florida—the first and most obvious being that he was 38 years old, and therefore not exactly long for the league’s world.

Second, in an era of pitchers who psyched batters out through precision and movement, Álvarez only had the latter. His catchers knew him well enough to steel themselves for wilder-than-usual throws when he was on the mound; if not for them, he likely would have shown up on leaderboards for wild pitches all over the place.

Third, going into the torneo, Álvarez had started seven games, finishing four and putting up a respectable 4-2 record and 2.58 ERA. He had since done the majority of Florida’s postseason starts, even after Jayuya second baseman Francisco Mendoza put together a four-hit game to open the series.

Florida’s catcher Oscar Oregón, tired of dealing with Álvarez’s targeting issues, took revenge on the Picachos with his own show of strength, and the teams were off, trading hard-won victories in each other’s stadia.

In Game 5, unfortunately, Álvarez went to launch his most famous pitch—something close to a splitter, from the way the Gaceta described it—and felt his arm, suddenly all of its 38 years old, nearly rip out of its socket.

The Verdirosas held on, despite losing their dependable playoff starter to the exact kind of injury he’d been at risk of the entire season.

In fact, they won that game, and the next, to tie the series at three games apiece.

Then, unfortunately, the Mogotes faced a problem three other teams, some of them even better than them, had found intractable: the Cerros, which had come to the torneo with no expectations, suddenly realized that they had a fighting chance to win the series.

Against that kind of confidence, very few teams would have had an answer.

Cerros (#14) win the pennant, 4-3.

campeonato

nacional

puertorriqueño

The logo of the Cerros de Jayuya: a dark green "J" in boss type, on a white circle bordered in silver and dark green.

VS.

The logo of the Soles de Luquillo: a dark red "L" in fancy curlicue font on a background of gold with black circles, bordered in black and then white.

#14 Cerros (LH) (.605) vs. #15 Soles (LB) (.605)

There would be no injuries here, like the ones that had dogged the Picudos and Guardianes into earlier exits, let alone the one that almost gave the Cerros an early pennant.

That isn’t to say there weren’t any bench rides: Luquillo second baseman José Colón did suffer a short bout of flu, but even two years later he had yet to take his first inning on the field.

At the time, some attributed that stamina to the Cerros’ high-altitude field and the Soles getting to play in more light than most—but it’s far more likely that, unlike those other teams, neither Luquillo nor Jayuya had expected to get this far.

Even as they arrived on the field, the Soles and Cerros apparently practiced together for a couple days, neither of them willing to believe that they had bested teams that had been purpose-built for the torneo.

If there was a notable difference between them, it was that the Brillantes had been slightly better on the defensive side of the ball—0.3 fewer runs per game, 17 fewer hits, a team ERA 32 points lower.

In batting terms, however, the two teams were almost shockingly similar, though they got there different ways. The Soles hit a couple more home runs, drew more walks, struck out less, and stole more bases, while the Cerros depended on hits, especially doubles and triples, and the generosity of opposing defenses.

Yet they were the same in runs per game (8.4) and on-base percentage (.301), separated only by 7 points of batting average and 10 of slugging percentage.

Game 1 was, apparently, thoroughly forgettable.

In Game 2, however, Teófilo Peñalosa, whose legs had gotten the Cerros through the Serie Eliminatoria, hit three triples, scoring each time. It was the first time anyone had done so in a playoff game, and if not for those three runs, the four-hit onslaught of Luquillo left fielder Víctor Molina might have actually been noticeable, as only one of his teammates got him home.

Left fielder Lázaro Enríquez matched the feat in Game 3, though unfortunately, not enough of his fellow Brillantes could do enough to help Luquillo win.

The Soles entered Game 4 after losing three in a row. Their pitching staff, which had so admirably held leads throughout the torneo, had collapsed in a hurry, and Roberto Ortega and his fellow batsmen had suddenly found themselves in dire offensive slumps.

For Game 4, they took the field ready to show they were the stubborn opponents other teams, with heavier batters, stronger pitchers, and faster fielders, had failed to solve.

The Cerros, of course, had no reason to make any changes—and were rewarded for their constancy when third baseman Rogelio Román, whose less-than-ideal glove had cost them less than expected at the hot corner, smashed four hits and scored two runs against Castellano.

Added to cross-infield colleague and namefellow Rogelio Rodríguez‘s fewer, but timelier, shots past the Soles defense, it was more than enough for the Cerros to seal their opponent’s fate. 

Cerros (#14) win the championship, 4-0.

Quite a few miles from sunny Luquillo, where the series had ended, Espinosa was currently negotiating his way across the northern coast of the island.

More accurately, at the time, he was negotiating his way onto the back of his horse. He had narrowly avoided crushing his bag when he slipped off, and now he reseated himself to the best of his ability in the saddle, which almost draped over his mount in a way that suggested it had been designed for a much larger horse—not that it would have mattered to Espinosa, who considered it a good day’s ride when he did not have a near-fatal scare.

La Central had given him a second remit as seguidor, and had even allowed him to return to La Milicia, once they’d heard of his enduring difficulties with equines, but the Commissioner had made it very clear that he would not be the same as his fellow herd-riders.

He patted the ledger, next to the inkwell he’d made sure to cushion. Let the other almanaqueros write their scores.

It was in the pages of that book that the league would find the means of its sustenance, and he already knew where he’d be writing the next year.

Espinosa se detuvo. Los patrulleros de la Guardia Urbana pasaron en marcha. Vestían de un negro grávido, y sus rifles apuntaban al cielo sobre sus hombros altaneros.

La capital parecía haber adquirido cierta marca militar en los dos meses que se había ausentado, lo que era bastante irónico, pues en marzo la ciudad había estado forrada de soldados. Los de entonces llevaban sus armas medio sueltas y caminaban tranquilos, como ejército triunfante en su propia capital.

La Central era muy pequeña entonces. Como base de operaciones le bastaban a la Liga Nacional Puertorriqueña cuatro o cinco oficinas en el mismo pasillo de alguna agencia prebendaria del régimen colonial. Nadie ni siquiera lo miró mientras entraba a la oficina del Comisionado.

Aunque también pequeña, estaba muy bien equipada, con un escritorio de madera sólida y estantes de libros que, en su mayoría, no tenían nada que ver con el deporte que administraba el Comisionado, fuera del anaquel solitario, justo por encima de su cabeza, que llevaba varias copias del Beadle Dime Base-Ball Player de Chadwick. Si no por esos, la oficina fácilmente sería la de cualquier otro funcionario de mediana importancia en la isla.”

 

“Bueno verte, Agustín,” dijo el Comisionado, cuyas manos escondían dos de las pilas de papel menos masivas en el escritorio. “Me imagino que llegaste seguro desde Dorado.”

“No del todo, señor, pero el peligro fue casi todo de mi lado.”

 

El Comisionado asentó con la cabeza e indicó una de las sillas. Espinosa la tomó con agradecimiento, y mientras el jefe rebuscaba en los papeles que tenía en frente, Espinosa se ocupó con abrir sus notas. 

 

“¿Tiene usted los votos para el doble ciclo?” preguntó Espinosa mientras los dos volteaban las páginas. “Si no—”

“Te garantizo que esto no será cosa de votos. El momento que los patronos vean cuánto van a ganarse, se creerán que se lo inventaron ellos. Ya tú sabes.”

“Sin duda. Y de las calesas?”

“Tampoco las resistirán, después de lo que le pasó a Camuy y a CoamoY antes de que preguntes,” añadió al notar que Espinosa había cambiado de página, “no hemos oído nada del gobierno nuevo. Se entiende.”

“Pensaría uno que tomarían un interés, señor. Una porción significativa—”

“Agustín, el general Ro—perdóname, el presidente Rojas,” dijo el Comisionado, y a Espinosa le pareció muy inspiradora la lucha de su jefe por evitar hacer una mueca de desprecio, “está ocupado de más con organizar la salida de los españoles de su dichosa playa en Arecibo. En fin, donde todavía quedan carpas y botes en la arena no se pueden construir estatuas. Hasta diría que no le importa un bledo lo que haga la Liga Nacional Puertorriqueña entre temporadas.”

 

Durante la pausa que hubo después, el Comisionado le puso una hoja de papel en frente. Era una carta de otro de los seguidores, uno que Espinosa conocía bien. Habían tomado café juntos en Dorado antes de él irse.

 

“Lo que me importa más, Agustín, es que estoy bastante seguro que sabías todo eso, pues me lo dice esta carta.” Espinosa dejó de admirar la letra del escritor y clavó su mirada en la de su jefe. “Sé bueno y dime qué exactamente haces aquí.”

 

Espinosa tomó un respiro largo. Así que Diego, después de todo, había seguido el plan—cuando se habían despedido, no estaba seguro de su cooperación.

“Señor,” dijo finalmente, “sé que usted quiere que vuelva a los almanaqueros, pero creo que tengo una idea mejor.”

 

El Comisionado arqueó las cejas, se recostó, e indicó su interés con un pequeño gesto.

campeonato de liga betances

The logo of the Soles de Luquillo: a dark red "L" in fancy curlicue font on a background of gold with black circles, bordered in black and then white.

VS.

The logo of the Guardianes de Dorado: a green "D" in fancy script on a black circle gridded with green, bordered in green.

#15 Soles (.605) contra #16 Guardianes (.579)

José Pérez era el único de los diez monticulares de Dorado en haberse distinguido—se estima que su presencia es la causa primaria de los Guardianes haber entrado en el torneo tres juegos por encima de .500.

Por ende, había titulado la mayoría de los juegos torneales de Dorado, y aunque su papel principal era darle libre albedrío a Pedro Sepeda, Rafael Arámbula, José López para que se divirtieran entre bases, le gustaba saber que cada buena entrada era otra oportunidad para ellos lucirse.

En el segundo partido, Pérez permitió solo cuatro imparables de los Brillantes. Era la primera blanqueada en el torneo, y se sintió un héroe de primera clase al empatar la serie 1-1, especialmente porque los Limpios le dieron sólo una carrera hasta la octava entrada.

Desafortunadamente, Luquillo también había descubierto su arma secreta.

Efraín Castellano acabó la temporada con siete títulos bastantes contundentes antes de hacerse el monticular principal de los Soles en el torneo.

Entre su costumbre enojosa de tirar bolas rápidas a esquinas extrañas del cajón y la proeza floreciente del guardabosque izquierdo Lázaro Enríquez, cuya propensidad increíble de impulsar carreras muy necesarias con cartonazos al bosque, Luquillo logró fastidiar al ataque que los Guardianes habían empezado a refinar.

Soles (#15) ganan el banderín, 4-1.

campeonato de liga hostos

The logo of the Mogotes de Florida: a red "F" bordered in black on a green circle, bordered in yellow and red.

VS.

The logo of the Cerros de Jayuya: a dark green "J" in boss type, on a white circle bordered in silver and dark green.

#10 Mogotes (.553) contra #14 Cerros (.605)

La más obvia de las razones (pues eran abundantes) por las cuales Jesús Álvarez era una selección de primera ronda muy extraña es que tenía 38 años, y por lo tanto no duraría mucho en la liga.

En segundo lugar, los lanzadores de entonces desestabilizaban a los bateadores con tiros precisos que se movían con fuerza. Álvarez sólo sabía hacer la segunda parte. Sus receptores lo conocían tan bien que practicaban con tiros salvajes cuando tenían que trabajar con él; si no fuera por ellos, probablemente encabezaría la lista de tiros malos.

En tercer lugar, cuando Florida llegó al torneo, Álvarez había titulado siete veces, con una marca respetable de 4-2 y efectividad de 2.58. Tituló la mayoría de los juegos de postemporada de Florida, hasta después de que el intermedista Francisco Mendoza de Jayuya le disparara cuatro imparables para comenzar la serie.

El receptor Oscar Oregón, cansado de lidiar con los problemas de Álvarez, se vengó contra los Picachos con su propia muestra de fuerza, y los equipos intercambiaron triunfos difíciles en estadios ajenos.

En el quinto partido, desafortunadamente, Álvarez fue a lanzar su tiro más conocido—la Gaceta da a entender que era como un separado—y sintió que su brazo, de pronto con todos sus 38 años, casi salirse de su rótula.

Los Verdirosas aguantaron, aunque acababan de perder su titular más consistente con la lesión que se había arriesgado durante la temporada entera.

De hecho, ganaron ese juego y el próximo, para empatar la serie.

Fue entonces que los Mogos se toparon con un problema que tres otros equipos, algunos mejores que ellos, no habían podido resolver: los Cerros, que entraron al torneo sin expectativas, de pronto cayeron en cuenta que tenían posibilidades de ganar la serie.

Eran pocos los equipos que podrían contrarrestar ese tipo de confianza.

Cerros (#14) ganan el banderín, 4-3.

campeonato

nacional

puertorriqueño

The logo of the Cerros de Jayuya: a dark green "J" in boss type, on a white circle bordered in silver and dark green.

VS.

The logo of the Soles de Luquillo: a dark red "L" in fancy curlicue font on a background of gold with black circles, bordered in black and then white.

#14 Cerros (LH) (.605) contra #15 Soles (LB) (.605)

Aquí no habrían lesiones, como las que atormentaron los Picudos y Guardianes hasta que salieron temprano, sin hablar de la que casi le dio el banderín a los Cerros por sí sola.

No es que nadie quedara embancado: José Colón, intermedista de los Soles, sufrió un ataque de gripe, pero dos años después todavía no había tenido entrada de campo.

En el momento, algunos imputaron ese aguante a la altura del estadio de los Cerros y que los Soles jugaban en más luz solar que otros equipos—pero lo más probable es que, a diferencia de esos otros, ni Luquillo ni Jayuya pensó que llegarían tan lejos.

Hasta cuando llegaron al campo, los Soles y Cerros aparentemente entrenaron juntos por dos días. Ninguno de los dos se creía que habían vencido equipos hechos a medida para el torneo.

Si había diferencia significativa entre los dos, es que los Brillantes eran un poco mejores del lado defensivo—0.3 carreras menos por partido, 17 menos imparables, y su efectividad de lanzamiento era 32 puntos más baja.

En el cajón, sin embargo, los equipos eran casi gemelos, aunque con par de idiosincrasias. Los Soles tenían dos cuadrangulares más, recibían más bases gratuitas y menos ponches, y robaban más, mientras que los Cerros dependían de sus imparables, especialmente con dos o tres bases, y de la generosidad de los defensores enemigos.

Eran iguales en carreras por partido (8.4) y porcentaje de base (.301), separados sólo por 7 puntos de promedio y 10 de aporreo.

El primer partido, aparentemente, no fue la gran cosa.

En el segundo, sin embargo, Teófilo Peñalosa, cuyas piernas le ganaron la Serie Eliminatoria a los Cerros, disparó tres tripletes y apuntó cada vez. Era la primera vez que alguien lograba eso en el torneo, y si no por esas carreras, el embate de cuatro imparables del guardabosque izquierdo Víctor Molina hubiera sido más notable, pues logró anotar una sola carrera.

El guardabosque izquierdo Lázaro Enríquez logró hazaña similar en el tercero, pero ninguno de los otros Brillantes prestó bastante fuerza para que Luquillo ganara.

Los Soles entraron al cuarto partido después de perder tres seguidos. Sus lanzadores, que habían mantenido ventajas durante todo el torneo, y todos sus atacadores, hasta el famoso Roberto Ortega, de pronto flaqueaban de juego a juego.

Para el cuarto partido, entraron al campo para demostrar que eran los adversarioes testarudos que otros equipos, con bateadores más pesados, lanzadores más fuertes, y defensores más ágiles, no habían podido resolver.

Los Cerros, claro, no tenían por qué hacer cambios—y la recompensa de su consistencia fue el antesalista Rogelio Román, cuyo guante de mantequilla les había costado menos de lo que temían, disparó cuatro batazos y anotó dos carreras contra Castellano.

Su colega de cuadro y tocayo Rogelio Rodríguez añadió menos disparos contra la defensa Brillante, pero fueron más oportunos.

Entre los dos, fue más que suficiente para sellarle el destino a Luquillo.

Cerros (#14) ganan el campeonato, 4-0.

A bastantes millas de Luquillo, donde había acabado la serie, Espinosa iba sorteándose por el norte de la isla.

Más preciso sería decir que iba sorteando cómo remontar su caballo. Por poco había caído encima de su bolso cuando se resbaló, y ahora hacía lo posible por sentarse en el sillín, que adornaba el lomo de su montura tan sueltamente que debía ser para un caballo más grande—cosa que no le importaba a Espinosa, para quien cabalgar un día sin casi morirse era un logro descomunal.

La Central le había dado otro año como seguidor, y hasta lo devolvieron a la Milicia, ya que habían oído de sus dificultades como ecuestre, pero el Comisionado aclaró que no sería lo mismo que sus compañeros.

Le dio una palmada leve a la bitácora, al lado del tintero que había acolchonado hasta más no poder. Que los otros almanaqueros escribieran sus puntuaciones.

Sería en las páginas de ese libro que la liga encontraría la manera de sostenerse a largo plazo, y ya sabía dónde escribiría el año que viene.

Comment away! / Dale, ¡di algo!

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