Caribbean World Series
The Caribbean World Series of Professional Baseball — or Serie del Caribe del Béisbol Profesional in Spanish — is an annual baseball tournament, usually played during the month of February,before the MLB trainings season in Dominican Republic, Mexico,Puerto Rico or Venezuela.
The Caribbean World Series was the brainchild of the Venezuelans Oscar "El Negro" Prieto and Pablo Morales, who devised the idea after the seeing the success of the Serie Interamericana (Inter-American Series) in 1946, which featured the Sultanes de Monterrey from Mexico; the All Cubans from Cuba; the Brooklyn Bushwicks from the United States; and Cervecería de Caracas from Venezuela. The Bushwicks won each year from 1946 to 1949, but Cervecería de Caracas won the final Serie Interamericana in 1950.
Inspired by the Seire Interamericana, Prieto and Morales presented their idea for a Caribbean World Series to a Confederación de Béisbol del Caribe (CBC, Baseball Confederation of the Caribbean in English) conference in Miami in late 1948. Cuba agreed to host the first series, which would feature the top team from each of the CBC member nations — Cuba, Panama, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela — in a six-day series of doubleheader games to determine the winner.
The series ran annually from 1949 to 1960, with Cuba winning seven times. However, the Caribbean World Series was cancelled after Fidel Castro dissolved all professional baseball in Cuba in 1961, replacing the professional teams with a state-run amateur system. It wouldn't be until 1970 that the Caribbean World Series was revived.
Nowadays, the Caribbean Series is affiliated with the Winter League programs of Major League Baseball, featuring MLB players and prospects in the professional leagues of the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.
The series, which now is played over 12 days, usually features up to six games per team, although some series have had games cut from or added to the schedule. The winner of the series is the team with the most wins after each team plays six games.
- 1949- Almendares (Cuba) wins the inaugural series 6–0.
- 1950- Carta Vieja (Panama) 5–1; the only Caribbean World Series championship for Panama.
- 1951- Cangrejeros de Santurce (Puerto Rico) 5–1
- 1952- La Habana (Cuba) wins 5–0; Cuba becomes the first country to win two championships.
- 1953- Cangrejeros de Santurce (Puerto Rico) 5–0; Santurce is the first team to win twice.
- 1954- Criollos de Caguas (Puerto Rico) 4–2; Puerto Rico is the first country to win back-to-back championships.
- 1955- Cangrejeros de Santurce (Puerto Rico) 5–1; Puerto Rico is the first country to have back-to-back-to-back titles.
- 1956- Cienfuegos (Cuba) 5–1
- 1957- Marianao (Cuba) 5–0
- 1958- Marianao (Cuba) 4–2
- 1959- Almendares (Cuba) 5–0
- 1960- Cienfuegos (Cuba) 6–0; the last series for a decade.
- 1970- Navegantes del Magallanes (Venezuela); Series resumes, featuring the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico.
- 1971- Tigres de Licey (Dominican Republic); Mexico's first appearance in the series.
- 1972- Tigres de Ponce (Puerto Rico)
- 1973- Tigres de Licey (Dominican Republic)
- 1974- Criollos de Caguas (Puerto Rico); Venezuela didn't participate because of a players strike.
- 1975- Vaqueros de Bayamón (Puerto Rico)
- 1976- Naranjeros de Hermosillo (Mexico); Mexico's first win.
- 1977- Tigres de Licey (Dominican Republic)
- 1978- Indios de Mayagüez (Puerto Rico)
- 1979- Navegantes del Magallanes (Venezuela)
- 1980- Tigres de Licey (Dominican Republic)
- 1981- A players strike in Venezuela causes the series to be cancelled.
- 1982- Leones del Caracas (Venezuela)
- 1983- Lobos de Arecibo (Puerto Rico)
- 1984- Águilas del Zulia (Venezuela)
- 1985- Tigres de Licey (Dominican Republic); smallest overall attendance for the series.
- 1986- Águilas de Mexicali (Mexico)
- 1987- Criollos de Caguas (Puerto Rico); after a disastrous 0–2 start, the Criollos win the series in a winner-take-all game against the Dominican Republic.
- 1988- Leones del Escogido (Dominican Republic)
- 1989- Águilas del Zulia (Venezuela)
- 1990- Leones del Escogido (Dominican Republic); the series is played in Miami, the first time it is held outside the Caribbean.
- 1991- Tigres de Licey (Dominican Republic); held again in Miami, an experimental top-two teams face off in a final game format is tried.
- 1992- Indios de Mayagüez (Puerto Rico)
- 1993- Cangrejeros de Santurce (Puerto Rico)
- 1994- Tigres de Licey (Dominican Republic)
- 1995- Senadores de San Juan (Puerto Rico)
- 1996- Tomateros de Culiacán (Mexico)
- 1997- Águilas Cibaeñas (Dominican Republic)
- 1998- Águilas Cibaeñas (Dominican Republic)
- 1999- Tigres de Licey (Dominican Republic)
- 2000- Cangrejeros de Santurce (Puerto Rico)
- 2001- Águilas Cibaeñas (Dominican Republic)
- 2002- Tomateros de Culiacán (Mexico)
- 2003- Águilas Cibaeñas (Dominican Republic); because of the general strike against Hugo Chávez, Venezuela does not participate. The Puerto Rican runner-up, Criollos de Caguas, plays instead.
- 2004- Tigres de Licey (Dominican Republic)
- 2005- Venados de Mazatlán (Mexico)
The 2006 edition will be held in the cities of Maracay and Valencia in Venezuela.
Important baseball players who have participated
- Orlando Cepeda
- Roberto Clemente
- Hector Espino
- Juan Gonzalez
- Ken Griffey Sr.
- Monte Irvin
- Juan Marichal
- Willie Mays
- Mike Schmidt
- Miguel Tejada
- Fernando Valenzuela