Bjarkman: The tragic death of Cuban pitcher Yadier Pedroso

From SABR member Peter C. Bjarkman at Baseball de Cuba on March 17, 2013:

On Saturday night in Artemisa – a small provincial capital to the west of Havana – the Cuban baseball community sadly lost one of its top stars of the past decade. Jovial and talented Artemisa right-handed pitcher Yadier Pedroso was killed when the car in which he was riding with two friends collided with a cargo truck at approximately 10:30 pm. Details are slim but it is known that all three occupants of the automobile perished; earliest reports do not specify who was actually driving the vehicle.

The collision, which occurred at a crossroads known as Magna Central on the rural highway leading into the provincial capital of Artemisa, came only two days after the Cuban national team had returned home from the World Baseball Classic event in Japan.

An ace starter with the Cuban League Artemisa Cazadores (“Hunters”) ball club, Pedroso’s oversized portrait is one of four that currently hang from the light towers in Artemisa’s picturesque 26 de Julio ballpark (the other three belonging to teammates and one-time fellow national team members Yulieski González, Jonder Martínez and Miguel Lahera). A veteran of eight-plus National Series seasons, Yadier Pedroso would have turned 27 in June of this year.

Cuban baseball boasts a rich and glorious history, but one of its less welcomed legacies is the ironic concurrence of devastating fatal automobile accidents that have cut short in mid-stream several of the island’s most lustrous post-revolution baseball careers.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: March 18, 2013. Last Updated: March 18, 2013.