Higinio Vélez, the man who for many years directed the destinations of baseball on the island, died this May 12 in Havana.
This is another hard blow to the Cuban ball, since it loses the president of the Federation weeks after the death of national commissioner Ernesto Reynoso, both due to complications derived from COVID-19, from which they fell ill due to an outbreak that affected other officials of the sport of balls and strikes.
Higinio died this Wednesday after battling for days against the ravages of the coronavirus, despite the care of the specialists who treated him in Havana at the Dr. Luis Díaz Soto hospital, known as El Naval.
His health evolved until he was considered a serious patient, as it was learned by sources outside the sports organization, since the status of the renowned manager of the National Series, the Cuba team and later baseball director, was not disclosed by the authorities.
Higinio Vélez completed a career as a manager that made him one of the most winning directors of Cuban baseball of all time, with four National Series titles that he won with Santiago de Cuba, the first in 1989 and later, a historical series would arrive. with the dreaded Steamroller, who hung three crowns from 1999 to 2001.
To these should be added the three selective reached with Serranos in 1987 and 1992, and one with Orientales in 1995; in addition to the two Revolution Cups commanded by Santiago de Cuba in 1996 and 1997, won from Pinar del Río.
Nor can you forget his time as a director for the national team. In 2001, he was appointed head of the national team and won a memorable Baseball World Cup held in Chinese Taipei, in which Cuba beat Japan in the semifinal and the United States in the final.
“They called me one night. The next day they put me on the first plane from Santiago to Havana. They took me to a place and informed me of the task. It was a mandate from Fidel and I accepted. Also, I wanted to show that I could solve the problem, “he told the Jit website.
Likewise, he added to his record the unforgettable gold at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, as well as triumphing in the 2003 Havana and 2005 Holland World Cups and the 1987 and 2003 Pan American Games.
Since his start with Cuba, “we began to consolidate the nucleus of players that would win the Pan American Games in Santo Domingo 2003, the Olympic Games in Athens 2004, the World Cups in Cuba 2003 and the Netherlands 2005; and second place in the I World Classic, in 2006 ”, he adds to Jit.
The other great performance came precisely with the meritorious second place in the first World Classic, the best position that the Greater Antilles has obtained in these competitions since its foundation.
After his time as director of Cuba, Higinio Vélez replaced Carlos Rodríguez as National Baseball Commissioner, a position he held until 2014. Later, he assumed the role of president of the Cuban Baseball Federation.
In just two weeks, Cuba’s main pastime loses its two main figures, as the sports authorities announced at the end of April the death of the National Baseball Commissioner, Ernesto Reynoso , also due to complications derived from COVID-19.
The news was surprising for the sports community at that time, as it had not officially transpired that the manager had been infected with the coronavirus. At the time, no details were given about the outbreak that affected other officials on the island, including Higinio.
Reynoso had been in the important position of national baseball for about a year and seven months and died on April 27 despite the efforts made by the medical team of the Doctor Luis Díaz Soto Military Hospital in the capital, as indicated in the note issued by the site. Officer Jit .