1996 Caribbean Series
The 1996 Caribbean Series (Serie del Caribe) was the twenty-sixth edition of the second stage of the Caribbean Series. It was held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic from February 3 to February 8. The series featured four teams from Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. The Tomateros de Culiacán of the Mexican Pacific League won the series in a major upset over the highly favored the Dominican League champion Águilas Cibaeñas. The Mexican team was managed by Francisco Estrada. The Most Valuable Player was Darryl Brinkley, an outfielder with the Tomateros de Culiacán.
Culiacan had never won a Series before and the Mexicans had only won twice previously - in the 1976 Caribbean Series and 1986 Caribbean Series. They kept up the 10-year trend under the guidance of Frank Estrada, the catcher in 1986. Mexico only had two big-leaguers, SS Benji Gil and P Esteban Loaiza. Their leader was OF Darryl Brinkley, who batted .350, scored five and drove in five. Luis Melendez did not allow a run in 7 innings over two appearances.
On the other hand, the Dominican and Puerto Rican clubs were loaded with major-league talent. The Dominican team was managed by Terry Francona and featured Julio Franco, Raul Mondesi, Pedro Martinez, Jose Mesa, Juan Guzman, Mel Rojas, Luis Polonia and Jose Vizcaino. They only went 2-4, edging the Magallanes Navigators of the Venezuelan League (1-5) for the worst record in this Caribbean Series. The Puerto Rican team featured Ivan Rodriguez, Bernie Williams, and Leo Gomez, among others.
Also having solid Series efforts were Martinez (1-0, 0 R, 2 H in 8), Franco (.471), Gomez (.458, .917 SLG, 9 RBI), Robinson Checo (1-0, 0 R in 6 for the Dominicans in one of their two wins) and Felipe Murillo (2-0, 1.50 for Mexico).
|Tomateros de Culiacán||MEX Mexican Pacific League||6||5||1||0.833||Francisco Estrada|
|Lobos de Arecibo||PRI Puerto Rican League||6||4||2||0.667||Pat Kelly|
|Águilas Cibaeñas||DOM Dominican League||6||2||4||0.333||Terry Francona|
|Navegantes del Magallanes||VEN Venezuelan League||6||1||5||0.167||Gregorio Machado|
- Batting Average: .500 - Tony Barron, Lobos de Arecibo
- Home Runs: 3 - Leo Gómez, Lobos de Arecibo
- Runs Batted In: 9 - Leo Gómez, Lobos de Arecibo
- Wins: 2 - Felipe Murillo, Tomateros de Culiacán
- 1997 Baseball Almanac
|Serie del Caribe (Caribbean Series)
|Most Valuable Player | Serie Interamericana | Confederación de Béisbol del Caribe|
|Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame|