Tusa: What remains of the Venezuelan League?

From SABR member Alfonso Tusa at The Hardball Times on December 4, 2019:

Once upon a time, there was a league in which Luis Aparicio was the Tiburones de La Guaira shortstop, Cesar Tovar the Leones del Caracas right fielder, Vic Davalillo the Leones del Caracas left-handed pitcher or center fielder, Bob Gibson the Indios de Oriente pitcher, Dave Parker the Navegantes del Magallanes right fielder, David Concepción the Tigres de Aragua shortstop, Bill Melton the Águilas del Zulia third baseman, Dwight Evans the Cardenales de Lara right fielder, Pete Rose the Leones del Caracas second baseman, Bo Belinsky the Pampero left-handed pitcher, Rod Carew the Tigres de Aragua second baseman, Jim Rice the Navegantes del Magallanes left fielder, Jim Catfish Hunter the Leones del Caracas right-hander, and Rollie Fingers the Tiburones de La Guaira right-hander.

Every day on the schedule there were closely contested games. The tickets, beverages, and food were all within the reach of almost any wallet, no matter how light. The players could throw the-last-out-of-the-inning ball or the foul balls to the fans in the stand. The season started in early October, and during the week the games started a little after seven. The teams received financial support from private sponsors so they could keep the field and the stands in the best condition.

In these last stages of the extended nightmare that we are enduring in Venezuela, sanctions have taken their toll on baseball. In this case, we are talking about the measures taken by the U.S. government through Major League Baseball, forbidding any of its players, coaches or managers to participate in the Venezuelan winter league’s season.

Read the full article here: https://tht.fangraphs.com/what-remains-of-the-venezuelan-league/

Originally published: December 5, 2019. Last Updated: December 5, 2019.