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Leones del Caracas
Leones del Caracas logo.png
League Venezuelan Professional Baseball League
Location Caracas, Venezuela
Ballpark Estadio Universitario
Year founded 1952
League championships 1952, 1953, 1957, 1962, 1964, 1967, 1968, 1973, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1995, 2006, 2010
Caribbean World Series championships 1982, 2006
Uniforms
Kit left arm pinstripesonwhite.png
Kit right arm pinstripesonwhite.png
Kit trousers pinstripesonwhite.png

Home

Kit trousers pinstripesonwhite.png

Away

The Leones del Caracas (English: Caracas Lions) is a Venezuelan baseball team that currently plays in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League.

History[edit]

1895 Caracas Baseball Club.

Cervecería Caracas was founded in 1942, after Cervecería Princesa, an early team, was bought and transformed into Caracas. At first, the team played its home games at the old Estadio Cerveza Caracas, which was located in the capital city of Caracas. The team was founded by Martín Tovar Lange and managed by big leaguer Alejandro Carrasquel.

The Princesa team played its last game on May 7, 1942. Then, Caracas debuted four days later with a 7–3 victory over the Criollos (English: Creoles). The game was played in Puerto Cabello, a city on the north coast of Venezuela. Caracas faced its later nemesis, the Navegantes del Magallanes for the first time on December 27 of that year, winning this now historic game by a 3–0 score.

In its first stage, the team won two championship titles before moving to the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League in January 1946.

Since its inception, the Caracas team was characterized by having only Venezuelan players on their roster. The club changed its policy in 1950, after signing catcher Lester Fusselman and outfielder Maurice Mozzali, two St. Louis Cardinals prospects.

In 1952, the franchise was bought by the publicist and sport commentator Pablo Morales and christened as new team Leones del Caracas, and started as a new franchise having nothing to do with the previous one. Since then, the team plays its home games at the Estadio Universitario in Caracas. Later, businessman Oscar Prieto Ortiz joined Morales as a legal partner.

The great player Pete Rose after slumped late in the MLB season 1964, was benched, and finished with just a .269 average, continued to play winter ball in Venezuela with Leones del Caracas team during 1964–1965 season to improve his batting.

By 2001, the descendants of Morales and Prieto sold their shares to the Grupo Cisneros, giving it majority control of the team.

Panoramic view of the stadium.

Through 2013, the Caracas team has won 17 championship titles, more than any other team in Venezuelan Professional Baseball League history.

Ballpark[edit]

The Estadio Universitario is a multi-use stadium located in Caracas, Venezuela. The stadium holds 22,690 people and was built in 1952.

This stadium forms part of the Central University of Venezuela campus and was designed by architect Carlos Raúl Villanueva. It is considered a masterpiece of urban planning and was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 2000.

Championship titles/Managers[edit]

Caribbean World Series title[edit]

On February 9, 1982, the Leones earned Venezuela's third Caribbean World Series and the franchise's first, by defeating Dominican Republics's Leones del Escogido with a 3-1 score. The Leones ended the series with a record of 5 wins and 1 defeat. The Venezuelan team, with Alfonso Carrasquel at the helm, gained the championship title with a 5-1 record. Leones was led by catcher and Series MVP Baudilio Díaz (.412 BA, two home runs, five RBI, .500 OBP, .765 SLG), CF Tony Armas (.375, six RBI) and LF Luis Salazar (six runs, four stolen bases). The pitching staff was led by Luis Leal, who posted a 2-0 record with a 2.08 ERA and 10 strikeouts and a in 13.0 innings of work. Behind him were Bud Black (1-0, 1.29), Dennis Burtt (1-0, one save, seven SO in 10⅔ innings) and Tom Dixon (nine scoreless innings in Game 7). Venezuela also featured 2B Steve Sax, SS Ron Gardenhire, 1B Dave Garcia, 3B Leonardo Hernández, pinch-hitter Andrés Galarraga and pitcher Joe Cowley, among others.

On February 7, 2006, the Leones earned Venezuela's first Caribbean World Series title in 16 years, by defeating the Tigres del Licey of the Dominican Republic with a 5-4 score in the last game; this left the Leones with a record of six wins and no defeats at the 2006 Caribbean Series, ahead of Licey's four wins and two defeats record. With the victory, the Leones won Venezuela's sixth CWS title, and the franchise's second after the 1982 Caribbean Series. This also marked the first time a Venezuelan team sweeps the CWS, a feat previously accomplished only by teams from Cuba (Almendares in 1949 and 1959, Habana in 1952, Marianao in 1957, and Cienfuegos in 1960), from Puerto Rico (Cangrejeros de Santurce in 1953 and 2000, and Senadores de San Juan in 1995) and from the Dominican Republic (Tigres del Licey in 1971 and 1977, and Águilas Cibaeñas in 1998).

Retired uniform numbers[edit]

1
Pompeyo Davalillo
SS
Retired
2
Víctor Davalillo
OF
Retired
6
Gonzalo Márquez
1B
Retired
8
Urbano Lugo
P
Retired
11
Luis Aparicio
SS
Retired
12
César Tovar
IF
Retired
17
Alfonso "Chico" Carrasquel
SS
Retired
20
Antonio Armas
OF
Retired
25
Baudilio Díaz
C
Retired
23
Omar Vizquel
SS
Retired 2008
41
Andrés Galarraga
1B
Retired 2008

* Retired by VPBL

Current roster[edit]



See also[edit]

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leones_del_Caracas — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
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