Sunday, February 10, 2019

Serie del Caribe Championship Game: Panama vs. Cuba

2018 ~ 2019
Panama City, Panama



Round Robin Standings:
  1. Panama                      3-1
  2. Dominican Republic   3-1
  3. Cuba                          2-2
  4. Mexico                       2-2
  5. Venezuela                  2-2
  6. Puerto Rico                0-4

Felicidades a Panama ...

Panama, a charter member of the original (1949-1960) Caribbean Confederation of Professional Baseball, on Sunday will host their first Serie Del Caribe championship in 59 years.  Los Torros de Herrera - first time champions of the Panamanian Professional Baseball League - will likewise bid to become the country's first Caribbean champion since Panama's 1950 title culmination at San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Panama was already on schedule for inclusion as an invited guest in next year's Serie del Caribe.  However, ongoing political turmoil and a sudden outbreak of violence in Venezuela hastened Panama's invitation when the Confederation for a second straight year was forced to retreat from the city of Barquisimeto.  Faced with the cancellation of the Serie del Caribe itself, the Confederation and Panama were able to facilitate a last minute resolution.

Panama, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela, are charter members of the original Confederation formed in 1949, which continued through the 1960 season.  After which, the Confederation ceased operations when baseball in Cuba became nationalized as part of Fidel Castro's revolution.

Panama's former professional baseball league was founded in 1946, then folded in 1972.  Today's Panamanian Professional Baseball League (PROBEIS) was founded in 2001, but was again suspended shortly thereafter.  Not until 2011 did the four team circuit stabilize and embark on continuous seasons.

The Caribbean Confederation was reformed in 1970 with original members Puerto Rico and Venezuela joined by Dominican Republic.  Mexico joined in 1971 to round out the present day four nation membership.

Like Panama, Cuba since 2014 participates as an invited guest.  In 1949, they hosted and won the first ever Serie del Caribe, and went on to win six more - including five in a row - before ceasing professional operations after the 1960 season.  In only their second season of modern participation, Cuba captured the 2014-2015 Serie del Caribe; their eighth overall.  Cuba has won all three Serie del Caribe previously hosted by Panama.

Cuban representatives, los Lenadores de Las Tuna, are first time Serie Nacional de Cuba champions, and thus making their first ever appearance in Serie del Caribe.

CUBA        1

Congratulations, Panama!  It's been 59-years since they last participated in the annual winter tournament.  In defeating heavily favored and fellow invitee Cuba on Sunday, los Torros de Herrera clinch Panama's second ever Serie del Caribe championship, and their first since 1950, nearly seven decades ago.

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