1871: Week 5 / Semana V

Venegas and his men had faced greater privations than the occasional sleepless night, and yet, as the last games of the season approached, none of them could deny that they had been thoroughly enervated by the cross-island trips, many of which required they return to Rincón the day after or so.

This was not the Puerto Rico of later years, where a web of public railroads, built on the model of the military tracks laid down during the Revolution, significantly reduced the time needed to travel between even those municipalities which somehow managed the feat of being remote on an island that measured, at its longest, a scanty 177 kilometers.

Espinosa, in the fervor La Central eventually checked, wrote several letters arguing passionately for alternate models of competition that would shorten travel distances and allow players to arrive rested at games, to prevent the pitching collapses and lasting injuries that were far too common in this first season of the Liga Nacional Puertorriqueña.

Unfortunately, because the league was at that very moment scrambling for the means of its survival in a country at most half-formed, he got nowhere.

Venegas was grateful, privately—most things were private, with him—but as Espinosa raged in the office they now suddenly shared about the abuse pitchers were expected to put their arms through, or how the league-provided gloves had a worrying tendency to come apart in a fielder’s hand mid-play, or any of the other issues he had discovered weeks ago but cycled through, unable to focus on more than one at a time, he wondered if the younger man understood that, to the men he was accompanying around the island and writing about, this was better pay than they’d get for cutting cane or farming coffee, and they got to play a game for it.

Venegas, as befit his sergeant’s status, was even luckier. He only had to watch them play.

 

may 1st

The logo of the Gigantes de Carolina: an orange "C" in slanted modern angular font, bordered in white and then dark brown, on a brown circle bordered in orange.

at Gigantes

There are exactly two things we know about this game.

One is that first baseman Jesús Cepeda went 4-for-6 with two doubles, scoring four runs and driving in five.

The other is that Pascual Crespo, still moonlighting in center field, also went 4-for-6, in his case with one double and no RsBI, although he, too, scored four times.

Given that La Máquina gave away free runs game after game, Carolina’s score is much higher than it should be—but as it turns out, there is in fact a lead so big no amount of abysmal fielding can squash it.

For Édgar Moreno, who once said the only place he ever cursed was the mound, this is extremely fortunate.

Ingenieros win, 21-8. Ingenieros: 11-17.

around the league

The logo of the Grises de Humacao: a tall "H" in dark gray, bordered in black, on a silver circle studded with gray, bordered in navy, cyan, then navy. The logo of the Ingenieros de Rincón: a black cursive "R" bordered in white and then red, on a green circle streaked with black lines, bordered in black and then white.The logo of the Azucareros de Yabucoa: a lowercase "y" in black, bordered in orange, on a yellow circle, bordered in orange and then green.

In a hopeful first step towards improvement, the Ingenieros announce that, despite the best efforts of their staff, they consider the first season a lost cause and will do better next year.

The announcement is timed to avoid the Gaceta‘s usual dump of scores and player statistics from the week, which means it ends up buried by similar announcements from the Grises and Azucareros.

The logo of the Marineros de Barceloneta: a golden B in stencil type on a circle of blue and navy in alternating horizontal stripes, bordered in blue and then gold.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.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.

Three very different players are joined today by similar tragedy.

Marinero right fielder Ricardo Márquez gets only one official at-bat against the Llaneros, and it’s the one he whiffs on, ending a 20-game streak.

Sergio Enríquez, whose bat helps power the ridiculous Coamo offense, tries four times against the PotrosHe, too, ends a 20-game streak.

Finally, center fielder Julio Pecina also fails to reach base safely without error in the four tries the Arzobispos give him. His sorrow is greater, as his streak was at 23 games.

The logo of the Vejigantes de Loíza: a big purple "L" bordered in gold on a black circle, bordered in purple.

There is plenty of joy in Loíza, however, as Tomás Samayoa‘s 2-5 line against the Santos makes him the first player in Liga Nacional Puertorriqueña history to hit safely in 25 straight games.

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

Dorado center fielder Pedro Sepeda is normally the indisputable stolen base machine of the league. His 1871 season included 43 steals on 47 attempts—a ridiculous 91.4% stealing percentage.

Today, when he lights up the Ganaderos for a 5-6 line, his speed ensures him two doubles. He’s unable to drive any teammates home, but he does score three times.

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.

Gerardo Castillo is yet another of the interminable ridiculous boomsticks in the Canóvanas lineup, but he proves today he’s not much of a runner when he hobbles off the field after straining his ankle while grinding out a close play at first. He will be out for five weeks.

The logo of the Ganaderos de Hatillo: a capital "H" in light blue West/playbill font, bordered in black and gold, on a white circle bordered in red and then black.

In trying to flash the leather out in left field, Iván Gómez ends up in a heap and—you guessed it—fractures his finger, which benches him for four weeks.

 

may 2nd

The logo of the Grises de Humacao: a tall "H" in dark gray, bordered in black, on a silver circle studded with gray, bordered in navy, cyan, then navy.

vs. Grises

The day after both of these teams declared themselves done with their first season, they meet in a match so forgettable Venegas, apparently, forgot to record it had happened until it was nearly over, judging by the scribbled notes that fill the page he had set aside for the day.

One of the notes, however, mentions that Víctor Nieves apparently managed to put too much weight on his leading foot when trying to stretch out a double and had to be brought off the field. 

Grises win, 10-4. Ingenieros: 11-18.

around the league

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.

Shortstop Carlos Sánchez, already well-known for his incredible fielding, goes 5-6 against the Azucarerosbatting in three runs and scoring four more as he spreads a double and one of his two home runs over the day.

The logo of the Artesanos de Las Piedras: a cursive dark green "LP" on a dark blue circle, bordered in silver-green-silver.

A few months ago, outfielder Ramón García was the first pick of the twelfth round. Today he hits the Fundadores hard, ringing up a 5-6 line of all singles, scoring three times on top of driving in a single teammate.

Furthermore, with their 22-7 record, the Artesanos become the first team to make the postseason in the history of the Liga Nacional Puertorriqueña. 

The logo of the Pescadores de Salinas: a navy blue "S" in a wide middle with thin tails, bordered in white, on a blue circle studded with navy, bordered in navy-white-navy.

Coming off of two bouts of swelling in his knee, platoon shortstop José Salas gets right down to making up for lost time by ringing up a 5-6 line against the Potrosincluding two triples, three runs scored, and six more driven in.

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.

As Alfredo “El Barón” Pascual, whose knee finally feels okay, runs down a line drive into left field, he twists to catch it over his shoulder—and feels the knife slip into his trunk.

He’ll finish the game, somehow, and will not return for another four weeks.

 

 

may 3rd

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.

at Esqueletos 

Venegas writes the final score. At no point does he discuss how the Ingenieros managed to make it from Rincón to Vieques overnight.

Esqueletos win, 8-1. Ingenieros: 11-19.

around the league

The logo of the Bucaneros de Arroyo: a navy "A" in fancy font, bordered in gold and brown, on top of a light blue circle studded with brown, bordered in brown-white-brown.

Wrapping up a middling season, Víctor Bustamante joins an exclusive club when he shuts out the potent Valerosos on five hits without striking out or walking any of them.

The logo of the Cariduros de Fajardo: a saffron "F" on a steel circle bordered in black-saffron-steel.

Left fielder Roberto Rodríguez—nicknamed “La Pepita” for how far and fast the ball flies off his bat—pummels the Fundadores to the tune of 5-6, including three triples. He scores three times and drives in four teammates. 

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.

Spot starter Fernando Galindo, in the only good season he’ll have, blanks the Caciques on four hits, striking out a single one.

The logo of the Patrulleros de San Sebastián: narrow white "SS" bordered with red on a black circle dotted with navy, bordered in gold.

Like his younger brother Roberto (see above), Benito Rodríguez is a left fielder. Unlike Roberto, his specialty is much more on the defensive side—except for today, when his 6-6 line against the Taínos includes a single triple and four runs batted in, on top of the five he scores himself.

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.

Along with teammate Rafael García, left fielder Germán Gándara is benched with pain in his ribs, although his four-week rest is twice as long as García’s.

Ceiba cuts him after the season, and it will take Gándara another year to land a job with . . . the Ingenieros.

The logo of the Valerosos de Ciales: a cursive purple "V" on a gold circle with black diagonal lines, bordered in black and purple.

Platoon second baseman Gustavo Cruz ends the year with exactly 69 at-bats when he takes a wild slider to the thumb. The resulting (and predictable) fracture puts him out of action for seven weeks.

The logo of the Cotorras de Río Grande: a bright red "R" in quirky type bordered in black and yellow on a green circle bordered in orange-yellow-orange.

Center fielder Roberto Estrada embarrasses himself by tripping over his own feet and taking a second baseman’s knee to his rib, which fractures it enough to put him out of action for four weeks.

The logo of the Metropolitanos de San Juan: a red SJ in thick sans-serif font, bordered in white on a navy circle bordered in white-red-white.

Center fielder Iván Manríquez, a fourth-round pick, having just returned from a bout of back spasms, takes a fastball to the collarbone.

Whether it’s on purpose or not is not recorded, but Manríquez will be out for four weeks.

 

may 4th

The logo of the Tortugas de Culebra: a light aquamarine "C" on a gold circle with a shell pattern in black, bordered in black and aquamarine.

vs. Tortugas

Presumably, the Ingenieros somehow finagled a ride home with the Tortugas, though how they managed it in a single day remains an open question. 

Tortugas win, 9-8. Ingenieros: 11-20.

around the league

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

First baseman Sergio Hernández logs his second five-hit game of the season, this time a 5-6 performance against the Marineros that includes another two doubles and bats in a run, on top of the four he scores himself.

The logo of the Capitanes de Mayagüez: a red "M" on a navy circle bordered in red.

After this season, right fielder Josué Díaz and left fielder Luis Hernández will have very different career paths.

Díaz, a third-round pick and all-around standout, will spend most of the 1870s patrolling right field. Hernández—who, despite being a position player, logged a save in 1871—will get one more season, but with the Fundadores.

Today, however, these two combine for the absolute ruination of the Samaritanos, going 13-14, with a double and a triple from Díaz and a home run from Hernández. They drive three runs in apiece, and each scores three more of their own.

The logo of the Samaritanos de San Lorenzo: the letters "SL" in black Western-style serif font, bordered in white, on a yellow circle bordered in red-black-red.

Normally, these posts do not mention hitting streaks until they end—we are superstitious even about history—but given the walloping his team suffered, it is worth noting that second baseman Manuel Castañeda made it to 20 games by accruing a single hit in the game against the Capitanes.

The logo of the Toritos de Cayey: a silver "C" with a black and then a white border on a red circle crisscrossed with gray, bordered in gray-black-gray concentric circles.

First baseman Ricardo Moreno—by a couple years the dean of the Toritos clubhouse, and inexplicably nicknamed “El Tejón”—tries to catch a low throw on the stretch and, instead, is laid out by the runner coming from the batter’s box, tearing his ankle ligaments in the process. He’ll be out five weeks.

The logo of the Tortugas de Culebra: a light aquamarine "C" on a gold circle with a shell pattern in black, bordered in black and aquamarine.

Despite his twelfth-round pick, left fielder Víctor Cital has proven a vital piece of the Culebra offense—until today, when he pulls a hamstring while running the bases in Rincón and ends up benched for six weeks, long enough for the Tortugas to end the season one game away from the division banner.

Given that Cital regressed in his next few seasons, it’s possible missing the last eleven games was the main factor in him retaining his triumphant .411 batting average.

The logo of the Changos de Naranjito: an orange "N" in an italicized font bordered in white and black, on a purple circle bordered in black and orange.

Shortstop Luis Meléndez has proven such a detriment on both offense and defense that, when he ends up under both a baserunner and his own teammate during a botched double play and has to be carried off with muscle tears in his back, his four-month recovery time makes the Changos measurably happier, though silently so.

 

 

may 5th

The logo of the Samaritanos de San Lorenzo: the letters "SL" in black Western-style serif font, bordered in white, on a yellow circle bordered in red-black-red.

at Samaritanos

San Lorenzo will end the season with a third-place 16-22 finish, ten games behind the Criollos and one behind the Taínos.

Understandably, they already show signs of complete surrender.

Ingenieros win, 7-4. Ingenieros: 12-20.

around the league

The logo of the Lobos de Arecibo: a white "A" against a red circle with narrow black vertical lines, bordered in black and then gold.

First baseman Julio Estrada, a capable power hitter with surprising speed, goes 0-5 against the Murciélagoswhich ends his hitting streak at 20 games.

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.

While shortstop Ricardo Vásquez is no one’s idea of a hitting stalwart, today he lights up the Metropolitanos for a 5-6 line, including one triple, two runs scored, and three runs driven in.

The logo of the Changos de Naranjito: an orange "N" in an italicized font bordered in white and black, on a purple circle bordered in black and orange.

Right field standout David Sánchez goes 5-6 with three doubles against the Gigantes, scoring three runs and bringing another four home.

The logo of the Azucareros de Yabucoa: a lowercase "y" in black, bordered in orange, on a yellow circle, bordered in orange and then green.

Seven games from the end of the season, the Azucareroswho will finish the season 12-26, become the first team to be eliminated from the postseason in the history of the Liga Nacional Puertorriqueña.

 

may 6th

The logo of the Llaneros de Toa Baja: "TB" in navy informal script font, bordered in white, on a green circle bordered in black and then white.

vs. Llaneros

Presumably, the Ingenieros somehow finagled a ride home with the Tortugas, though how they managed it in a single day remains an open question. 

Ingenieros win, 7-4. Ingenieros: 13-20.

around the league

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.

In 1871, tenth overall pick Juan Laboy posted a decidedly pedestrian season—other than showing a decent ability to generate whiffs, he had a 102 ERA+, perhaps due to all the short rest starts he was making.

Today, though, when he took the mound and proceeded to strike out one Macetero and walk none over 106 pitches, he also allowed fewer than three hits for the first time in his career.

In fact, he allowed none.

Juan Laboy: first pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the history of the Liga Nacional Puertorriqueña. 

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.

Though Édgar Rosa will not end the year on the Ceiba roster, perhaps due to his pedestrian rate statistics or the fact that he rarely finishes games, today he manages to make the mighty Eléctricos look foolish, as none of their six hits come around to score. He strikes out one during the game.

The logo of the Cafeteros de Maricao: a white "M" in quirky font bordered in black and then orange, on a brown circle bordered in dark brown and white.

While his younger brother Darío languishes as an unused catcher, left fielder Benito Manríquez is the principal weapon of the Cafeteros lineup. Today, he shows the Cañeros why, as he scores three runs and brings two home in his 5-6 effort, including one of his two home runs.

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.

Hard-throwing righty Marco Flores, somehow, fails to strike out a single Gigantebut he awards no bases and allows only six hits on his way to his first career shutout.

The logo of the Grises de Humacao: a tall "H" in dark gray, bordered in black, on a silver circle studded with gray, bordered in navy, cyan, then navy.

As it was, third baseman Oscar Sandoval‘s back and hamstring had already proved issues for his playing time, but it’s his ankle that sprains trying to run the bases, landing him on the bench for four weeks.

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.

In trying to prove he’s more than an offensive standout, second baseman René Pérez tries to physically tag an opposing baserunner . . . and crashes into him, tearing a ligament in his thumb in the process and leaving play for six weeks. 

The logo of the Corsos de Yauco: an orange "Y" in a slightly rounded sans serif font, bordered in white and black, on a navy circle bordered in orange, white, orange.

While rushing hard to beat the outfield throw to first base, catcher David González ruptures his Achilles tendon.

Originally scheduled to miss three months, González manages to reinjure himself so badly he ends up missing almost a year, and only barely makes the 1872 roster.  

 

 

may 7th

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.

at Poetas

This time, the Ingenieros catch a ride to the neighboring team. Regardless, it does not work out for them.

Poetas win, 9-3. Ingenieros: 13-21.

around the league

The logo of the Eléctricos de Guayanilla: a bold red "G" in square type on a yellow circle bordered in red.

In his first season, outfielder José Vásquez backed up his forceful hitting with a speed unexpected for a 35-year-old untrained rookie—which is, perhaps, how he stole 26 bases on 26 attempts over the course of the season. Today, he gives the Chupacabras the business, going 5-7 with a triple, driving in two teammates and scoring three times on his own.

The logo of the Gallitos de Isabela: a yellow "I" in bold comic type, bordered in black, on a red circle bordered in black-yellow-black.

It’s not Alfredo Cervantes’ fault that his team is doing badly—and today, against the Marineroshe seems especially angry at that fact, as he strikes out two of them on the way to his first shutout.

The logo of the Vejigantes de Loíza: a big purple "L" bordered in gold on a black circle, bordered in purple.

It may be against the Azucareros, but when second baseman and all-around standout Tomás Samayoa bats 2-6 today, he becomes the first player to hit in 30 consecutive games in the history of the Liga Nacional Puertorriqueña.

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.

While Ernesto Muñoz will later be famous for his ability to play competent defense first base as well as the entire outfield, in 1871, it was his anomalously excellent hitting that got him noticed. Today, the Mogotes suffer his wrath to the tune of a 5-6 line with a triple, during which he scores three times and drives in a teammate.

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.

First-round pick José Herrera, after a rookie season in which he only starts nine games, manages to tear his hamstring for the second time in two months. This time, he’ll be out for three months.

The logo of the Azucareros de Yabucoa: a lowercase "y" in black, bordered in orange, on a yellow circle, bordered in orange and then green.

No one told first baseman Alfonso Román that the Zucas were giving up on the season, and when his 39-year-old hamstrings attempt to run out a soft grounder, they don’t hold up very well. He’ll be out for ten weeks, four of which are required by the team doctor after he manages to make matters worse by returning to practice early.

Ya Venegas y sus hombres habían sufrido peores miserias que la esporádica noche sin sueño, y sin embargo, al acercarse los últimos partidos de la temporada, ninguno podía negar que atravesar la isla tantas veces seguidas, ya que casi todos sus viajes necesitaban una vuelta a Rincón el próximo día, los había debilitado por completo.

Puerto Rico en esos años no se encontraba abarrotado de ferrocarriles públicos, construidos según el modelo militar de sus antepasados revolucionarios, y por lo tanto todavía había que sufrirse jornadas larguísimas hasta los pueblos que de algún modo, en una isla que a su más larga tenía 177 kilómetros de cintura, lograban llamarse remotos.

Espinosa escribió varias cartas a La Central, antes de que lo frenaran, en las cuales abogaba con pasión por varios modelos alternativos de competencia que reducirían las distancias a viajar y permitirían que los jugadores llegaran despiertos a cada partido, para prevenir los derrumbes de lanzadores y las lesiones duraderas que habían sido demasiado comunes en la primera temporada de la Liga Nacional Puertorriqueña.

Desafortunadamente, debido a la lucha tan reñida en que se encontraba la liga para poder sobrevivir en un país que todavía no se había cocido del todo, no le sirvió de nada.

Venegas sentía cierta gratitud, aunque privada, como muchas otras cosas que sentía. Pero cuando Espinosa bramaba en la oficina que ahora compartían sobre el abuso braquial que se les exigía a los lanzadores, o la tendencia preocupante que tenían los guantes procurados por la liga de deshacerse a mediados de jugada en las manos de sus dueños, o cualquiera de las otras dificultades que había descubierto hace semanas pero repasaba en ciclo, sin poder enfocarse en más que una a la vez, Venegas se pregunta si el joven entendía que, para los hombres que acompañaba por la isla, entrevistaba, y entonces resumía en sus notas, les pagaban más que por cortar caña o cosechar café, y con jugar se ganaban la vida.

Como debido para un sargento, Venegas tenía todavía más suerte. Se ganaba la vida con verlos jugar.

1ro de mayo

The logo of the Gigantes de Carolina: an orange "C" in slanted modern angular font, bordered in white and then dark brown, on a brown circle bordered in orange.

en Carolina

Hay exactamente dos cosas que sabemos sobre este juego.

La primera es que el inicialista Jesús Cepeda bateó 4-6 con dos dobletes, impulsando cinco carreras y anotando cuatro.

La segunda es que Pascual Crespo, todavía de pluriempleo en el bosque central, también bateó 4-6 y anotó cuatro carreras, aunque con un solo doblete y sin remolca.

La puntuación de Carolina es mucho más alta de lo que debería ser, gracias a la predilección de La Máquina para otorgar carreras en cada juego—pero resulta que hay una ventaja tan decisiva que no hay cantidad de errores vergonzosos que la reduzcan. Given that La Máquina gave away free runs game after game, Carolina’s score is much higher than it should be—but as it turns out, there is in fact a lead so big no amount of abysmal fielding can squash it.

Para Édgar Moreno, quien supuestamente dijo que el montículo era el único sitio donde usaba palabras soeces, es suerte de la buena.

Ingenieros ganan, 21-8. Ingenieros: 11-17.

el resto de la liga

The logo of the Grises de Humacao: a tall "H" in dark gray, bordered in black, on a silver circle studded with gray, bordered in navy, cyan, then navy. The logo of the Ingenieros de Rincón: a black cursive "R" bordered in white and then red, on a green circle streaked with black lines, bordered in black and then white.The logo of the Azucareros de Yabucoa: a lowercase "y" in black, bordered in orange, on a yellow circle, bordered in orange and then green.

Con ansias de tomar el primer paso hacia mejorar como equipo, los Ingenieros anuncian que, a pesar de sus mejores esfuerzos, piensan que la temporada está perdida y tendrán que mejorar el año que viene.

Programan el anuncio para evitar el vertido semanal de puntuaciones y estadísticas en la Gaceta, y por lo tanto lo entierran anuncios similares de los Grises y los Azucareros.

The logo of the Marineros de Barceloneta: a golden B in stencil type on a circle of blue and navy in alternating horizontal stripes, bordered in blue and then gold.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.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.

Tres jugadores muy distintos acaban igual de trágicos hoy.

El guardabosque derecho Ricardo Márquez de Barceloneta se poncha en su único turno oficial contra los Llaneros, y se le muere la racha de 20 juegos.

Sergio Enríquez, cuyo bate es parte del tremendo ataque de Coamo, trata cuatro veces contra los PotrosTambién se le acaba una racha de 20 juegos.

Finalmente, el guardabosque central Julio Pecina tampoco logra llegar a base sin error, aunque los Arzobispos le dan cuatro oportunidades. Es todavía más triste, pues su racha llevaba 23 juegos.

The logo of the Vejigantes de Loíza: a big purple "L" bordered in gold on a black circle, bordered in purple.

En Loíza, sin embargo, hay alegría por doquier, pues la línea 2-5 de Tomás Samayoa‘s contra los Santos lo convierte en el primer jugador en llegar a base por imparable en 25 juegos seguidos en la historia de la Liga Nacional Puertorriqueña.

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

Normalmente, el guardabosque central Pedro Sepeda es el ladrón de base por excelencia de la liga. En 1871 logró robar 43 bases en 47 intentos—un porcentaje de 91.4%.

Hoy, esa velocidad le vale dos biangulares en la línea de 5-6 que monta ante los Ganaderos. No logra remolcar, pero sí apunta tres carreras.

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.

Entre los interminables tronantes de Canóvanas se encuentra el inicialista Gerardo Castillo, quien hoy resulta no ser gran corredor cuando se distende el tobillo tratando de rematar la jugada en la primera base. Queda lesionado por cinco semanas.

The logo of the Ganaderos de Hatillo: a capital "H" in light blue West/playbill font, bordered in black and gold, on a white circle bordered in red and then black.

Haciéndose de escoba en el bosque izquierdo, Iván Gómez termina amontonado y—como habrán adivinado—se fractura el dedo, lo que lo saca por cuatro semanas.

 

2 de mayo

The logo of the Grises de Humacao: a tall "H" in dark gray, bordered in black, on a silver circle studded with gray, bordered in navy, cyan, then navy.

contra Grises

El día después de los dos equipos admitir que ya no les importa la temporada, se reúnen en un partido tan olvidable que Venegas aparentemente no escribió nada hasta las últimas entradas, como indican las notas garabateadas que llenan la página fechada para este día.

Una de esas notas menciona que Víctor Nievas puso demasiado peso en su pie delantero tratando de estirar un doble y hubo que cargarlo hasta el banco.

Grises ganan, 10-4. Ingenieros: 11-18.

el resto de la liga

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.

Aunque ya famoso como defensor, el campocorto Carlos Sánchez hoy arremete 5-6 contra los Azucarerosimpulsado tres y anotando cuatro más con un doblete y uno de sus dos cuadrangulares en este día.

The logo of the Artesanos de Las Piedras: a cursive dark green "LP" on a dark blue circle, bordered in silver-green-silver.

Hace unos meses, el guardabosque Ramón García fue la primera selección de la duodécima ronda. Hoy le mete palo a los Fundadores, logrando una línea 5-6 de todos sencillos, apuntando tres carreras encima de la que impulsa.

Además, con su actuación 22-7, los Artesanos son el primer equipo en la historia de la Liga Nacional Puertorriqueña en llegar al torneo.

The logo of the Pescadores de Salinas: a navy blue "S" in a wide middle with thin tails, bordered in white, on a blue circle studded with navy, bordered in navy-white-navy.

Después de lidiar con dos inflamaciones de la rodilla, José Salas, campocorto de pelotón, compensa con una línea 5-6 contra los Potros, que incluye tres tripletes, tres carreras anotadas y seis más impulsadas.

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.

La rodilla de Alfredo “El Barón” Pascual finalmente se siente mejor, pero cuando intenta apoderarse de una línea en el bosque derecho, se tuerce para agarrar la bola—y siente el acuchillamiento en su tronco.

De alguna manera termina el juego, pero no volverá por cuatro semanas.

 

 

3 de mayo

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.

en Vieques 

Venegas escribe la puntuación final sin revelar cómo exactamente los Ingenieros llegaron a Vieques por la noche.

Esqueletos ganan, 8-1. Ingenieros: 11-19.

el resto de la liga

The logo of the Bucaneros de Arroyo: a navy "A" in fancy font, bordered in gold and brown, on top of a light blue circle studded with brown, bordered in brown-white-brown.

Al final de una temporada promedia, Víctor Bustamante se une a un grupo exclusivo cuando blanquea a los Valerosos con cinco imparables sin ponchar ni otorgar base.

The logo of the Cariduros de Fajardo: a saffron "F" on a steel circle bordered in black-saffron-steel.

Al guardabosque izquierdo Roberto Rodríguez le dicen “La Pepita,” pues eso parece la bola cuando sale a volar desde su bate. Hoy coge a los Fundadores con una línea 5-6, tres de los cuales son triples. Anota tres y remolca cuatro. 

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.

En su única temporada buena, el titular de corto plazo Fernando Galindo le da nueve donas a los Caciques con cuatro imparables, ponchando a uno.

The logo of the Patrulleros de San Sebastián: narrow white "SS" bordered with red on a black circle dotted with navy, bordered in gold.

Como su hermanito Roberto (véase más arriba), Benito Rodríguez es guardabosque derecho. A diferencia de Roberto, se especializa como defensor—excepto hoy, cuando su línea 6-6 contra los Taínos incluye un triple y cuatro carreras impulsadas, además de las cinco que anota.

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.

Aunque es doble el descanso de su colega Rafael García, el guardabosque izquierdo Germán Gándara también queda lesionado con dolor en las costillas.

Ceiba lo bota después de la temporada, y después de pasar un año sin jugar, Gándara vuelve como parte de . . . los Ingenieros.

The logo of the Valerosos de Ciales: a cursive purple "V" on a gold circle with black diagonal lines, bordered in black and purple.

Gustavo Cruz, intermedista de pelotón, termina la temporada con exactamente 69 turnos cuando recibe un desliz descontrolado en el pulgar. La fractura resultante (y muy predecible) lo deja lesionado por siete semanas.

The logo of the Cotorras de Río Grande: a bright red "R" in quirky type bordered in black and yellow on a green circle bordered in orange-yellow-orange.

El guardabosque central Roberto Estrada se cae de bruces y coge la rodilla de un intermedista en sus costillas, lo que las fractura bastante para necesitar cuatro semanas de descanso.

The logo of the Metropolitanos de San Juan: a red SJ in thick sans-serif font, bordered in white on a navy circle bordered in white-red-white.

Selección de cuarta ronda y guardabosque central Iván Manríquez, acabado de recuperarse de espasmos en la espalda, recibe una rápida a la clavícula.

No se sabe si es a propósito, pero Manríquez queda lesionado por cuatro semanas.

 

4 de mayo

The logo of the Tortugas de Culebra: a light aquamarine "C" on a gold circle with a shell pattern in black, bordered in black and aquamarine.

contra Tortugas

Se supone que los Ingenieros acompañaron a las Tortugas para volver a Rincón, aunque la pregunta de cómo lograron cruzar casi la isla entera queda importante de todos modos.

Tortugas ganan, 9-8. Ingenieros: 11-20.

el resto de la liga

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

En su segundo juego con por lo menos cinco indiscutibles dentro de esta temporada, el inicialista Sergio Hernández logra un día 5-6 contra los Marinerosque incluye dos biangulares más e impulsa una carreras, encima de las que apunta él.

The logo of the Capitanes de Mayagüez: a red "M" on a navy circle bordered in red.

Al terminar la temporada, el guardabosque deretcho Josué Díaz and su colega del izquierdo Luis Hernández tendrán carreras muy distintas.

Díaz, con su selección en la tercera ronda, patrulla el bosque derecho durante la mayoría de los años 1870. Hernández—quien, a pesar de no ser lanzador, logróun rescate este año—le darán otra temporada, pero será con los Fundadores.

Hoy, los dos se juntan para la ruina absoluta de los Samaritanosal batear 13-14, con un doblete y un triplete de parte de Díaz y un cuadrangular de Hernández. Cada uno impulsa tres, y cada uno anota tres más.

The logo of the Samaritanos de San Lorenzo: the letters "SL" in black Western-style serif font, bordered in white, on a yellow circle bordered in red-black-red.

Normalmente no mencionamos rachas de imparables hasta que acaben—tenemos supersticiones hasta con la historia—pero dada la pela que sufrió su equipo, debemos notar que el intermedista Manuel Castañeda llegó a los 20 juegos con su único sencillo contra los Capitanes.

The logo of the Toritos de Cayey: a silver "C" with a black and then a white border on a red circle crisscrossed with gray, bordered in gray-black-gray concentric circles.

Ricardo Moreno—misteriosamente apodado “El Tejón” y por par de años el mayor de los Toritos—trata de estirarse para agarrar un tiro bajito y el corredor viniendo desde el cajón lo ataca. Se desgarra los ligamentos del tobillo, y por lo tanto queda lesionado cinco semanas.

The logo of the Tortugas de Culebra: a light aquamarine "C" on a gold circle with a shell pattern in black, bordered in black and aquamarine.

Aunque seleccionado en la duodécima ronda, el guardabosque izquiero Víctor Cital ha sido pieza necesaria de la ofensa culebrense—hasta hoy, cuando se hala la corva tan mal tratando de correr entre las bases y acaba lesionado por seis semanas, lo que ayudará a que Culebra termine la temporada a un juego del banderín.

Dado que Cital volvió al promedio en sus próximas temporadas, es posible que ausentarse de esos once juegos fue la causa principal de su increíble porcentage de bateo de .411.

The logo of the Changos de Naranjito: an orange "N" in an italicized font bordered in white and black, on a purple circle bordered in black and orange.

Tan malo ha sido el campocorto Luis Meléndez con guante y bate que, al intentar una matanza doble queda debajo de un corredor y un colega de equipo y salió del partido en camilla con rasguños musculares en la espalda. Los cuatro meses son de los más felices para los Changos.

 

5 de mayo

The logo of the Samaritanos de San Lorenzo: the letters "SL" in black Western-style serif font, bordered in white, on a yellow circle bordered in red-black-red.

en San Lorenzo

San Lorenzo acabará con un tercer puesto y un historial 16-22, diez juegos detrás de los Criollos y uno detrás de los Taínos.

Se entiende por qué ya se rinden.

Ingenieros ganan, 7-4. Ingenieros: 12-20.

el resto de la liga

The logo of the Lobos de Arecibo: a white "A" against a red circle with narrow black vertical lines, bordered in black and then gold.

El inicialista Julio Estrada, tronante capaz con velocidad sorpresiva, termina su racha de imparables en 20 juegos cuando batea 0-5 contra los Murciélagos.

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.

Aunque nadie piensa en el campocorto Ricardo Vásquez como un bambino, hoy prende a los Metropolitanos con una línea 5-6, incluyendo un triplete, dos carreras anotadas, y tres más impulsadas.

The logo of the Changos de Naranjito: an orange "N" in an italicized font bordered in white and black, on a purple circle bordered in black and orange.

El destacado guardabosque derecho David Sánchez batea 5-6 con tres biangulares, against the Gigantes, anotando tres carreras y trayendo cuatro más al cajón.

The logo of the Azucareros de Yabucoa: a lowercase "y" in black, bordered in orange, on a yellow circle, bordered in orange and then green.

A siete juegos de acabar la temporada, los Azucareros, terminan con un historial 12-26 y se convierten en el primero equipo en ser eliminado del torneo de la Liga Nacional Puertorriqueña.

6 de mayo

The logo of the Llaneros de Toa Baja: "TB" in navy informal script font, bordered in white, on a green circle bordered in black and then white.

contra Llaneros

De nuevo, los Ingenieros parecen haber cogido pon con los Llaneros, aunque como lograron convencerles—y cómo el viaje fue tan rápido—queda por investigarse.

Ingenieros ganan, 7-4. Ingenieros: 13-20.

el resto de la liga

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.

En 1871, Juan Laboy, la selección #10, tuvo una temporada bastante regular—fuera de su habilidad sorprendente para generar abanicos, tuvo efectividad+ de 102, quizás por todos los juegos que abrió con poco descanso.

Hoy, sin embargo, cuando se subió al montículo y ponchó a un Macetero sin otorgarle base a ninguno en 106 lanzamientos, también, por primera vez en su carrera, permitió menos de tres imparables.

De hecho, no permitió ninguno.

Juan Laboy: el primer lanzador en lanzar un juego sin imparables en la historia de la Liga Nacional Puertorriqueña.

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.

Aunque Ceiba no se quedará con Édgar Rosa, tal vez porque sus porcentajes con muy promedios o porque casi nunca acaba sus títulos de lanzador, hoy avergüenza a los poderosos Eléctricospues encima de ponchar uno no permite que ninguno de los imparables resulte en una carrera.

The logo of the Cafeteros de Maricao: a white "M" in quirky font bordered in black and then orange, on a brown circle bordered in dark brown and white.

Mientras su hermano Darío languidece sin ser utilizado como receptor, el guardabosque izquierdo Benito Manríquez es el arma principal de Maricao. Hoy demuestra por qué contra los Cañeros, pues además de anotar tres e impulsar a dos corredores, su línea 5-6 incluye uno de sus cuadrangulares. 

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.

Marco Flores no logra ponchar a ningún Gigante, pero tampoco otorga bases gratis y sólo permite seis indiscutibles mientras los blanquea.

The logo of the Grises de Humacao: a tall "H" in dark gray, bordered in black, on a silver circle studded with gray, bordered in navy, cyan, then navy.

La espalda y el tendón de corva del antesalista Oscar Sandoval ya le habían hecho difícil jugar bastante tiempo, pero es el tobillo que se le tuerce corriendo entre bases. Queda lesionado por cuatro semanas.

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.

Tratando de demostrar que no es bueno sólo con el bate, el intermedista René Pérez trata de tocar a un corredor . . . y choca contra él, desgarrándose un ligamento del pulgar que lo saca del juego por seis semanas. 

The logo of the Corsos de Yauco: an orange "Y" in a slightly rounded sans serif font, bordered in white and black, on a navy circle bordered in orange, white, orange.

Apurándose para ganarle al tiro desde el bosque para el cajón, al receptor David González le falla el tendón de Aquiles.

Originalmente lo plazan para tres meses de recuperación, pero de alguna manera González logra lesionarse de nuevo, y tan mal que será un año antes de que (casi) vuelva a jugar.

 

 

may 7th

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.

en Toa Alta

Esta vez, los Ingenieros se montan para viajar con el equipo vecino. No les va bien.

Poetas ganan, 9-3. Ingenieros: 13-21.

around the league

The logo of the Eléctricos de Guayanilla: a bold red "G" in square type on a yellow circle bordered in red.

En su primera temporada, el guardabosque José Vásquez combinó su fuerza de bate con una velocidad inesperada en un novato de 35 años—lo que tal vez explica cómo intentó robar 26 bases, y robó 26 bases, durante la temporada. Hoy castiga a los Chupacabras con una línea 5-7 que incluye un triple, impulsando a dos colegas encima de apuntar tres carreras por sí mismo.

The logo of the Gallitos de Isabela: a yellow "I" in bold comic type, bordered in black, on a red circle bordered in black-yellow-black.

No es la culpa de Alfredo Cervantes que su equipo le haya ido tan mal—y hoy, contra los Marinerosparece manifestar su rabia, pues poncha a dos en camino a su primera blanqueada.

The logo of the Vejigantes de Loíza: a big purple "L" bordered in gold on a black circle, bordered in purple.

Sí, es contra los Azucareros, pero cuando el célebre intermedista Tomás Samayoa batea 2-6 hoy, se convierte en el primer jugador en la historia de la Liga Nacional Puertorriqueña con 30 juegos seguidos con imparables.

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.

Aunque luego Ernesto Muñoz será famoso por poder defender en primera base o bien cualquiera de los bosques, en el 1871, fueron sus batazos—excelentes y anómalos—que lo hicieron notable. Hoy sufren su ira los Mogotes cuando batea 5-6 con un triangular, añadiendo las tres carreras que anota y la sola que impulsa.

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.

José Herrera, selección de primera ronda, despues de una temporada novata donde sólo abre nueve juegos, logra rasguñarse la corva por segunda vez en dos meses. Esta vez queda lesionado por tres meses.

The logo of the Azucareros de Yabucoa: a lowercase "y" in black, bordered in orange, on a yellow circle, bordered in orange and then green.

Nadie le dijo al inicialista Alfonso Román que los Zucas se habían rendido, y cuando sus corvas de 39 años tratan de pasarse de un rolete suavecito, no lo aguantan muy bien. Queda afuera por diez semanas, cuatro de las cuales las requiere su médico después que empeore por tratar de practicar antes de lo debido.

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