Vamos: Let’s Play Beisbol
Hey baseball fans!
I decided to put up a blog in tribute to when baseball used to be played in the Olympics. Baseball is currently not an Olympic sport (it was last played in 2008), but I wanted to tell you guys about a pitcher from Cuba who dominated the Olympics every time he was out on the mound for the Caribbean country.
Baseball was most recently played in the Olympics as an official (non-exhibition) event from 1992 – 2008. Cuba took the gold in three of the five events, in ’92, ’96, and ’04. This probably would have never happened without Pedro Luis Lazo, a 6 foot 3 inch 250 pound 97 mph fastball-throwing Cuban pitcher nicknamed “King Kong”. Unlike Orlando Hernandez and Jose Contreras who decided to come to the USA and play MLB, Lazo stayed in Cuba for his whole career and helped the Cuban national team win two Olympic gold and two Olympic silver medals from 1996-2008. Lazo has the most medals won by any baseball player ever in Olympic baseball history.
Lazo also was stunning in the Cuban baseball league. He had a record of 257-136. He is second in career strikeouts with 2,426. Also, in the 2005 Baseball Word Cup in the Netherlands, he went 2-0 with two saves and a minuscule 0.54 ERA to help Cuba win gold. He helped his team win the Baseball World Cup four times, one time in Havana, Cuba (they came in second twice). In March 2006, he pitched for Cuba in the World Baseball Classic, and pitched an impressive four-and-a-half inning save against the Dominican Republic in the semis. In all of his gold medal chances in his active career, he has won 14 out of 19. He is one of the most respected Cuban pitchers worldwide.
Matt Nadel is a 13 year old baseball history kid blogger from Springfield, NJ who writes two baseball blogs under the name, Baseball with Matt. Matt started his original blog back in April 2012 when he saw that a lot of his friends didn’t know anything about baseball history and he thought that a blog would be a fun way to educate kids and adults about baseball history. After posting nearly 85 times, he was introduced to John Thorn, the official historian for MLB, and John liked Matt’s blog and arranged for Matt to have his own Pro Blog on MLB, making Matt the youngest Pro blogger on MLB.com. You can also follow Matt on Twitter @BaseballwMatt. Baseball with Matt is a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance.