I have had the privilege of knowing most of the best players who have passed through the national series, I admire many of them, but none like Antonio Nicolás Muñoz Hernández, my idol since childhood, the purebred guajiro who last Wednesday, January 17, he was 75 years old.
Born in 1949 in Algaba, Condado, now the province of Sancti Spíritus, which he represented until the 1979-1980 season, although since 1977 he lives in the Pearl of the South, Cousin For me, he is the best left-handed hitter that has played ball in Cuba since 1962.
Leader in 71 offensive boxes, the Giant of Escambray He opened new paths in home championships, by inaugurating clubs with a thousand RBI, runs scored and based on balls received and those with 200 and 300 complete ones. hit to return.
Despite his age, the former first baseman remains involved in baseball: “I am very happy to work in the Plaza field with the categories of children with the glories of Cienfuegos like Andrés Curro Leyva and Sergio Dark night Ferrer,” said the member of the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame.
-What did you tell me about your son Vitico?
-He is in the 9-10 year old category playing in Little League, on February 10 he will be 11 years old, due to his childhood condition he defends first base and also throws. Without a father’s love, I would say he would be a good baseball athlete, he would have enough power to hit.
-Many coaches complain that young people arrive at higher levels with many gaps.
-Look, when I work with kids 5, 6, 7 years old, the first thing I teach them is the A, B, C of baseball: fielding, throwing and learning to hold the bat, so that they can grow up. . they have little difficulty with the senior teams. I allow the little ones to have fun in the field, but always observe the shortcomings that they need to eliminate them at an early age.
-In the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, there were some improvisations in the initial stage, even Héctor Olivera was placed in the defense of the first pillow, so in one of our frequent conversations you confessed something to me.
-I tell you why there are so many improvisations when in Cienfuegos, without chauvinism, we have the best first baseman in Cuba: José Dariel Abreu, a boy who plays third base, always a power hitter and because of his conditions we moved him to first. base and we are convinced that is his position. I think the recent history is well known, he reached the Major Leagues and was recognized, along with Yuli Gourriel and Yordan Álvarez, among others, as one of the most dangerous Cuban hitters in baseball, which for me is best in the world.
-Ideally, you want to play in the Major Leagues.
-During my time without the World Classics, so I said I had to play in the Major Leagues to prove myself as a player, they gave me many offers, but I didn’t leave and I won’t leave in Cuba. , I feel good in my country. . I have a government that always supports me and people who love me and admire me.
-How do you see the current health of Cuban baseball?
-I believe that the health of our ball at the moment is not the best, we have lost everything, we are not champions of anything, we have not won the Central American and Caribbean Games, we have to fight to titles will be saved. that we have enjoyed for several decades, although I will tell you that for me the best ball played in Cuba in the 62 national series that was made was from 70 to 90.
He gave up two home runs
In his extensive career of twenty-four championships, Condado’s idol hit 371 home runs. The strange thing is that his last home run was hit on the day he turned 42: January 17, 1991. Muñoz achieved a special connection against a delivery from Jorge Martínez, at the Mario Martínez Arará stadium, in Colón . In the same baseball park in Matanzas, the tough slugger gave himself another home run, on the day of his 27th birthday, that is, January 17, 1976, against a pitch by Luis Ortega, of Citricultores team.