1955 Caribbean Series

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The seventh edition of the Caribbean Series (Serie del Caribe) was played in 1955. It was held from February 10 through February 15, featuring the champion baseball teams from Cuba, Alacranes de Almendares; Panama, Carta Vieja Yankees; Puerto Rico, Cangrejeros de Santurce, and Venezuela, Navegantes del Magallanes. The format consisted of 12 games, each team facing the other teams twice. The games were played at Estadio Universitario in Caracas, the capital city of Venezuela, which boosted capacity to 22,690 seats, while the ceremonial first pitch was thrown by Marcos Pérez Jiménez, by then the President of Venezuela.

Summary[edit]

Puerto Rico won the Series with a 5-1 record en route for a third straight championship. The Cangrejeros club was managed by Herman Franks and led by the dynamic shortstop Don Zimmer, who posted a .400 batting average (8-for-20) with a .950 slugging and led the hitters with three home runs. Santurce also received a considerable support from outfielders Willie Mays (two HR, nine RBI, six runs, 885 SLG), Roberto Clemente (one HR, .577 SLG, seven runs) and Bob Thurman (.318). Also helping out were catcher Harry Chiti (.333, one HR, .667 SLG) and third baseman Buster Clarkson (.313). Bill Greason (2-0, 2.00 ERA), Sad Sam Jones (1-0, 1.50) and Rubén Gómez (1-0) led the pitching staff, while Zimmer claimed Most Valuable Player honors. Puerto Rico also had veteran OF Luis Rodríguez Olmo in addition to Tite Arroyo (P) and George Crowe (1B). Mays, after going 0-for-13 in the Series, hit a two-out, two-run walk-off homer in the 11th inning of Game 6. Then, he went 11-for-13 in the next three games to finish with a second-best average of .462 (12-for-26) and leading the series in RBI.

The Venezuelan team finished in second place with a 4-2 record and was managed by Lázaro Salazar. Magallanes was responsible for the only defeat suffered by Santurce, 7-2 in the closing game, and previously had been beaten by Cuba 1-0 in a pitching duel and by Puerto Rico, 4-2 in an extrainning game. It was the best performance by a Venezuelan team to that point. The offensive was led by part-time OF Pablo García, who hit .500 (6-for-12), including three runs, six RBI and a .917 SLG. Other contributions came from 2B Jack Lohrke (.348, four runs, .478 SLG), 1B Bob Skinner (.280. two HR, four RBI), RF George Wilson (.381, five RBI, .762 SLG), 3B Luis García (6-for-21, two runs, two RBI) and Chico Carrasquel (five runs, four RBI). José Bracho (2-0, 0.53 ERA) led a pitching staff that included Emilio Cueche (1-1, 2.00), Joe Margoneri (1-0, 2.00), Ramón Monzant (0-1, 3.27) and reliever Bill Kennedy (1-0), 0.00). Also in the roster were outfielders Bob Lennon (5-for-19) and Dalmiro Finol (2-for-13).

Guided by Bobby Bragan, Almendares finished 2-4 for the worst record ever by a Cuban team in the Series. A one-man offensive attack, 1B Rocky Nelson led the Series hitters with a .471 average (8-for-18) and collected a .647 SLG. Other support came from C Gus Triandos (.263, two HRs, seven RBI, .579 SLG). The starting staff was composed by Cholly Naranjo (1-0, 2.00 ERA), Joe Hatten (1-1, 3.00), Red Munger (0-1, 7.50) and Roger Bowman (0-1, 5.00). Other players for Cuba included Ps Lino Donoso, Al Lyons and Conrado Marrero; IFs Willy Miranda, Héctor Rodríguez and José Valdivielso, as well as OFs Román Mejías, Carlos Paula, Earl Rapp and Lee Walls.

For last place Panama, managed by Al Kubski, the top player was LF Guilford Dickens, who batted .364 with a .682 SLG and hit both of the team's home runs. SP Humberto Robinson (1-0, 12 SO, 1.64 ERA) recorded the only victory for Carta Vieja, while Bill Harris and Ernie Lawrence both finished 0-2. Other players included Milt Graff (IF), John Fitzgerald (P), Fred Marolewski (IF) and Spider Wilhelm (IF)


Final standings
Club W L W/L % GB
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico 5 1 .833   –
Venezuela Venezuela 4 2 .667 1.0
Cuba Cuba 2 4 .333 3.0
Panama Panama 1 5 .167 4.0
Individual leaders
Player/Club Statistic
Rocky Nelson/CUB Batting average .471
Don Zimmer/PUR Home runs     3
Willie Mays/PUR Runs batted in     9
Roberto Clemente/PUR Runs     8
Willie Mays/PUR Hits   11
Don Zimmer/PUR Doubles     2
Pablo García/VEN
George Wilson/VEN
Triples     2
Jack Lohrke/VEN Stolen bases     2
Bill Greason/PUR Wins     2
Humberto Robinson/PAN Strikeouts   11
José Bracho/VEN Earned run average 0.69
Emilio Cueche/VEN
Bill Greason/PUR
Innings pitched   18
Ray Dabek/PAN Saves     1
Awards
Don Zimmer/PUR Most Valuable Player
Herman Franks/PUR Manager
All-Star Team
Name/Club Position
Harry Chiti/PUR catcher
Rocky Nelson/CUB first baseman
Jack Lohrke/VEN second baseman
Buster Clarkson/PUR third baseman
Don Zimmer/PUR shortstop
Guilford Dickens/PAN left fielder
Willie Mays/PUR center fielder
George Wilson/VEN right fielder
Emilio Cueche/VEN
Bill Greason/PUR
Sad Sam Jones/PUR
Pitchers
Herman Franks/PUR manager

Scoreboards[edit]

Game 1, February 10[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Puerto Rico 0 1 0 4 0 0 1 0 0 6 8 2
Cuba 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 3 1
WP: Rubén Gómez (1-0)   LP: Red Munger (0-1)
Home runs:
PUR: Don Zimmer (1)
CUB: None

Game 2, February 10[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Panama 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   7 3
Venezuela 3 1 1 0 1 1 0 2 X 9 14 2
WP: José Bracho (1-0)   LP: Bill Harris (0-1)
Notes: Bracho hurled a complete game shutout.

Game 3, February 11[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Panama 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 5 3
Puerto Rico 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 X 2 5 2
WP: Bill Greason (1-0)   LP: Ernie Lawrence (0-1)
Home runs:
PAN: None
PUR: Don Zimmer (2), Bill Greason (1)

Game 4, February 11[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Venezuela 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
Cuba 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 X 1 2 2
WP: Joe Hatten (1-0)   LP: Emilio Cueche (0-1)
Notes: Both pitchers went all the way despite a 45-minute delay in the top of the 7th inning.

Game 5, February 12[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Panama 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 3 9 2
Cuba 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 8 2
WP: Humberto Robinson (1-0)   LP: Lino Donoso (0-1)   Sv: Ray Dabek (1)

Game 6, February 12[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 R H E
Venezuela 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2   3 0
Puerto Rico 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 10 1
WP: Sad Sam Jones (1-0)   LP: Ramón Monzant (0-1)
Home runs:
VEN: None
PUR: Roberto Clemente (1), Willie Mays (1)
Notes: Both pitchers went all the way. The two-run, walk off homer by Mays, was his first hit in 14 Series at bat.

Game 7, February 13[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cuba 0 0 0 1 4 1 0 0 0 6   9 1
Puerto Rico 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 1 3 7 13 1
WP: Jorge Sackie (1-0)   LP: Roger Bowman (0-1)
Home runs:
CUB: None
PUR: Don Zimmer (3)

Game 8, February 13[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Venezuela 0 2 0 1 0 0 1 0 2 6 11 0
Panama 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1   7 1
WP: Bill Kennedy (1-0)   LP: Alberto Osorio (0-1)
Notes: Bracho allowed an earned run in four-plus innings and Kennedy earned the victory in 5⅔ scoreless innings of relief.

Game 9, February 14[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Puerto Rico 0 5 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 11 16 1
Panama 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0   3   4 1
WP: Bill Greason (2-0)   LP: Bill Harris (0-2)
Home runs:
PUR: Harry Chiti (1)
PAN: None
Notes: Greason threw his second complete win in the Series.

Game 10, February 14[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cuba 0 1 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 4   9 2
Venezuela 0 0 1 1 3 1 0 0 X 6 11 1
WP: Emilio Cueche (1-1)   LP: Joe Hatten (1-1)
Home runs:
CUB: Gus Triandos (1)
VEN: None
Notes: Cueche completed his second start of the Series.

Game 11, February 15[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cuba 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 3 5 0
Panama 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 11 1
WP: Cholly Naranjo (1-0)   LP: Ernie Lawrence (0-2)
Home runs:
CUB: Gus Triandos (2)
PAN: None

Game 12, February 15[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Puerto Rico 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2   9 2
Venezuela 4 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 X 7 10 0
WP: Joe Margoneri (1-0)   LP: Jorge Sackle (1-1)
Home runs:
PUR: Willie Mays (2)
VEN: None

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • Antero Núñez, José. Series del Caribe. Jefferson, Caracas, Venezuela: Impresos Urbina, C.A., 1987.
  • Gutiérrez, Daniel. Enciclopedia del Béisbol en Venezuela – 1895-2006 . Caracas, Venezuela: Impresión Arte, C.A., 2007.

External links[edit]