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Updated: March 17, 2013
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar

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Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2013 by Marco Stoovelaar

Cuban pitcher Yadier Pedroso dies in accident


...Yadier Pedroso González...
(1986 - 2013)

HAVANA (Cuba) - Sad news came from Cuba on Sunday, as Cuban pitcher Yadier Pedroso González has tragically died in a traffic accident in Havana on Saturday, March 16. Around 10:30 in the evening, the 26-year old Pedroso was in a car that collided with a freight truck on a highway to Artemis, which is near Cuban capital Havana. It was not announced by authorities whether Pedroso was the driver or a passenger in the car. Two other persons also died in the accident. Pedros had just returned a few days before from Japan after Cuba had been eliminated in the Second Round of the World Baseball Classic. Pedroso had somewhat of a link with Dutch baseball, as he pitched several times against the Orange squad and he also traveled to the Netherlands to participated in six tournaments there.

Despite recovering from an arm injury, Pedroso was selected for the Cuban Team to participate again in this years Classic. On March 4, Pedroso pitched 1 1/3 inning against China in the First Round in Fukuoka (Japan). Next, on March 7, he made what is now his last appearance in the national team, pitching 1/3 inning in the 6-2 loss against the Netherlands in the Second Round in Tokyo. Against the Dutch, Pedroso entered the game in the sixth inning with runners on first and third base and two outs. Pedroso was greeted with a 3-run homerun by Jonathan Schoop, which was followed by an inning-ending flyout. Pedroso returned to the mound in the seventh inning and gave up singles to Wladimir Balentien and Andruw Jones. Hereafter, Pedroso was relieved.

...Pedroso pitching on March 7...
...against the Netherlands... the World Baseball Classic...
(© Photos: Henk Seppen)
Yadier Pedroso González, who was born on June 9, 1986 in Guanajay, also participated with Cuba in the first edition of the World Baseball Classic in 2006. He then pitched five innings in three games for Cuba.

Pedroso, who was nicknamed 'Pedrosito', always was good-humored and participated in a lot of mostly successful events with the Cuban National Team. In total, he pitched in 26 games for the Cuban squad, mostly as a reliever.

Yadier Pedroso played for La Habana and in recent years for Artemis, playing in the highest competition, the Series Nacionales de Beisbol Cuba, since the 2004-2005 season. In his eight seasons, he won 76 games and lost 45. The righthander was listed as one of the most talented players in Cuban baseball and was a star pitcher in the last seven seasons. In his rookie season in 2004-2005, he was 11-4 for La Habana.

In 2005, he made his debut in the National Team of Cuba and participated in the World Championship, which then was held in the Netherlands. Cuba defeated South Korea 3-0 in the final to win the title. Pedroso then was 1-0 with eleven strikeouts during the Central American and Caribbean Games in 2006 in Colombia. Two years later, Pedroso returned to the Netherlands, as he participated with Cuba in the Haarlem Baseball Week. Later in 2008, he also was a member of the Cuban Team that won the Silver Medal in the Olympic Games in Beijing (China). In the Olympic tournament, Pedroso started against the Dutch Team and gave up six hits and two runs in three innings. Pedroso left with a 2-1 lead for the Dutch, but Cuba went on to win 14-3. Pedroso also participated in the World Port Tournament in Rotterdam (Netherlands) in 2009 and 2011. In 2009, Pedroso also was in the Netherlands to participate in the first round of the World Championship, which continued in Italy, where Cuba was beaten by the USA in the final. Next, in 2010, he participated with Cuba in the Intercontinental Cup in Taiwan. In the final of that event, Cuba faced the Netherlands and Pedroso then briefly pitched, giving three hits and one run. This was to be the lone Dutch run, as Cuba won 4-1.

In the 2011 World Cup in Panama, Pedroso didn't face the Dutch Team, earned three saves, struckout 17 batters in 10 2/3 inning and was named to the tournament's All Star Team as Relief Pitcher. The Dutch defeated Cuba twice in the event, including in the final.

Last year, Pedroso made another trip to the Netherlands, this time again for the Haarlem Baseball Week, which was won by Cuba.

Pedroso was first noted as a pitching star during the World Junior Championship of 2004 in Taiwan, where he 2-0. In the final, he threw an 1-0 shutout against Japan, where Yu Darvish was the losing pitcher. Pedroso was named Most Valuable Player of the event.

With the passing of Yadier Pedroso, the international baseball-world lost a very talented player.

(March 17)

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