Leones de Ponce (baseball)

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Leones de Ponce
Information
League Liga de Beisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico
Location Ponce, Puerto Rico
Ballpark Estadio Paquito Montaner
Year founded 1938[1]
Year folded 2016
Nickname(s) Leones
League championships 1941/1942, 1942/1943, 1943/1944, 1944/1945, 1946 /1947, 1968/1969, 1969/1970, 1971/1972, 1981/1982, 2003/2004, 2008/2009
Caribbean Series championships 1972
Former name(s) Ponce Baseball Club[2]
Former league(s) Liga del Castillo[3]
Former ballparks Campo Atlético Charles H. Terry
Colors White and Red          
Mascot Lion
Ownership Héctor “Tito” Gracia[4]
Coach Eduardo Pérez[5]
Manager José ‘Cheo’ Hernández[4]

The Leones de Ponce (English: Lions) was a baseball team in the Puerto Rico Professional Baseball League. The organization is based in the municipality of Ponce, Puerto Rico. The team plays at the Francisco Montaner Stadium. Contrary to popular belief, the name Leones comes from their team owner being photographed with a whip as if taming lions.[6] At one time, the "legendary" team scored a continuous run of thirteen championships.[4] The team's owner is Héctor “Tito” Gracia, and former baseball player with the Leones himself.[4] The team's colors are red and white.

Championships[edit]

As of 2009, the Leones won 11 LBPPR league championships, including four straight from 1942–1945, as follows:

1941/1942 · 1942/1943 · 1943/1944 · 1944/1945 · 1946 /1947 · 1968/1969 · 1969/1970 · 1971/1972 · 1981/1982 · 2003/2004 · 2008/2009

Puerto Rico Baseball League[edit]

After the suspension of the 2007-2008 season, the Liga de Béisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico reestablished itself, while doing several changes to its format. The Leones chose Eduardo Pérez, son of Tony Pérez, to coach the team during the season.[5] The Leones were the first team to surpass twenty victories during the regular season, eventually concluding in the first place.[7] For his team’s performance, Eduardo Pérez won the award for "Manager of the Year",[8] while Jorge Padilla was selected the league's Most Valuable Player.[8]

After concluding the first two stages of the playoffs undefeated, the Leones were joined by the Lobos de Arecibo in the final bracket. In the final series, the team won the first game, before losing the second in Arecibo.[9][10] The Leones then won three consecutive games, including the decisive contest before 15,000 fans in Ponce.[11][12] With this streak, the team finished with a 12-1 record in the final month of action, including the latter part of the regular season.[13] With this victory, Eduardo Pérez became the first son of a Major League Baseball Hall of Famer to win a championship in a professional baseball league.[14] After beginning the 2009-10 season with three consecutive losses, the Leones defeated the Criollos to win their first game.[15] On November 20, 2009, the Gigantes defeated the team, scoring 17 hits.[16] On November 25, 2009, the Indios defeated the Leones to win their fourth game of the season.[17] In their next game, the Leones defeated Carolina.[18] On November 28, 2009, the Leones defeated the Gigantes del Cibao in inter-league action.[19] On November 30, 2009, Ramón Martínez began practicing with the Leones, marking his return to the league since 2001-02.[20]

Caribbean Series[edit]

In 1972, the Leones won their first Caribbean Series championship at Santo Domingo, gathering a 5-1 record.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sports / Sports in the 20th Century. Encyclopedia Puerto Rico. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  2. ^ La Maldicion de los Leones de Ponce por los Yankees de NY y Cheo Cruz. 03-10-2010. Univision Television. TV > FOROS > Maria Elena Salinas. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  3. ^ La Maldicion de los Leones de Ponce por los Yankees de NY y Cheo Cruz. 03-10-2010. Univision Television. TV > FOROS > Maria Elena Salinas. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d Nuevo apoderado: Acepta el desafío de los Leones. Junior Lugo Marrero. La Perla del Sur. Ponce, Puerto Rico. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
  5. ^ a b "El Uniforme le quedo tirao a Eduardo Perez.". Primera Hora. 
  6. ^ Baseball without Borders. By George Gmelch. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 2006. Page 164.
  7. ^ El Vocero.
  8. ^ a b "Jorge Padilla elegido como 'Jugador Más Valioso' en Liga de Puerto Rico". Primera Hora. 
  9. ^ Errores los hunden: Los Lobos cometieron tres errores en la décima entrada, para que los Leones anotaran la carrera de la victoria en el primer juego de la serie final de la liga invernal boricua. ESPN Sports. January 19, 2009.
  10. ^ Nada para nadie: La serie final boricua se igualó a un triunfo al derrotar Arecibo a Ponce. ESPN Sports. January 21, 2009.
  11. ^ En grande: Javier Vazquez y Leones blanquearon a Lobos de Arecibo para tomar delantera 2-1. ESPN Sports. January 22, 2009.
  12. ^ A punto de mate: Los Leones de Ponce se colocaron a una victoria del campeonato en la liga invernal de Puerto Rico al vencer 9-6 a los Lobos de Arecibo, poniendo la final 3-1 en su favor. ESPN Sports. January 25, 2009.
  13. ^ A lo más alto del podio: Los Leones de Ponce se proclamaron campeones de la liga invernal de Puerto Rico al vencer decisivamente a los Lobos de Arecibo y vencerlos 4-1 en la Final. ESPN Sports. January 25, 2009.
  14. ^ Los Perez establecen record en beisbol. Deportes AOL.
  15. ^ Carlos González (2009-11-20). "Leones de Ponce libran la ‘coca’" (in Spanish). Primera Hora. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  16. ^ "Gigante explosión ofensiva" (in Spanish). Primera Hora. 2009-11-21. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  17. ^ "Despiertan los Indios" (in Spanish). Primera Hora. 2009-11-26. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  18. ^ "Explosión ofensiva de los Leones" (in Spanish). Primera Hora. 2009-11-28. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  19. ^ "Ponce vence a Cibao en juegos interliga" (in Spanish). Primera Hora. 2009-11-29. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  20. ^ Karla Pacheco Álvarez (2009-12-02). ""Bien y mejorando" los Lobos en el béisbol" (in Spanish). Primera Hora. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 

External links[edit]