Gabriel Pierre Lazo
- Throws Right
- Height 5' 9", Weight 214 lb.
Pierre led the 1989 Series Selectivas with 28 doubles for the Serranos. He hit .324/.432/.486 for Cuba in the 1991 Intercontinental Cup and was named the All-Tournament third baseman, beating out Jenrry Roa as Linares was left off the national team for a rare time. Cuba won Gold; in the finale, he hit 6th and went 1 for 5 with a run as Cuba edged Japan, 5-4.
Pierre scored 41 runs in 1990-1991, leading Cuba's eastern division. He was hit by 15 pitches with the Santiago de Cuba Wasps of 1991-1992, leading the Cuban Serie Nacional. He led the 1992-1993 season with 65 RBI for Santiago de Cuba. In the 1993 Central American and Caribbean Games, he was 0 for 1 and Cuba won Gold. Gabriel scored 56 runs for the 1995 Orientales to lead the Series Selectivas.
Pierre was back with the national team in the 1997 Intercontinental Cup as Linares moved to short to replace the temporarily-suspended German Mesa. Gabriel acquitted himself very well, batting .414/.485/.862 with 5 doubles, a triple, 2 homers and 9 RBI in nine games, though he fielded only .824. He lost All-Tournament honors at third to Paul Gonzalez of Australia. He finished 6th in the event in RBI and fifth in average behind Gonzalez, former major leaguer Greg Jelks, future major leaguer Jason Tyner and future NPB star Yoshinobu Takahashi. In the Gold Medal game, he hit 7th, going 2 for 3 and being hit by a pitch as one of Cuba's better performers in a 11-2 rout by Japan. He also handled three assists with no miscue. It was the first loss by Cuba in the Gold Medal game of a major tournament in 15 years and Cuba's first loss in any game of a major event in six years.
In the 1997 World Port Tournament, he went 6 for 11 with two walks, two doubles, two homers and 9 RBI. Despite a part-time role, he was third in the event in RBI behind Orestes Kindelan and Linares. He tied Linares, Jurjan Koenen and Juan Manrique for third in the event in home runs.
Pierre was 1 for 5 in the 1998 Central American and Caribbean Games, won by Cuba. He was 3 for 8 with a walk and two doubles as Cuba won the 1998 Haarlem Baseball Week. In the 1998 Baseball World Cup, the veteran was 3 for 8 with two runs and two RBI as the backup to Linares at the hot corner. He did not play in the Gold Medal game, which Cuba won.
Gabriel was with Cuba for game two of the 1999 Baltimore Orioles-Cuban National Team Exhibition Series. He hit .286 with two home runs in the 1999 Pan American Games, which Cuba won. In the 1999 Intercontinental Cup, he was Cuba's starting third bagger again and hit .250/.385/.438 with 7 RBI in nine games while playing error-free ball. Hitting cleanup in the Gold Medal game, he was 0 for 4 with a walk as Cuba was stunned 4-3 by Australia in 11 innings.
Pierre concluded his international career at age 34 in the 2000 Olympics. Backing up Linares, his lone at-bat came in the 9th inning of a 4-2 upset loss to the Netherlands. Pinch-hitting for German Mesa, he was retired by former major league outfielder Rikkert Faneyte.
Overall, Gabriel hit .295/.421/.530 in 18 seasons in Cuba with over 1,000 runs and 1,000 RBI in 5,338 AB. Through 2009, he was 7th in Cuban annals (1962-2009) in home runs (306), 7th in strikeouts (914), third in double play grounders (209), 11th in walks (972, between Lazaro Vargas and Frederich Cepeda) and 1st in times hit by pitch (225).
Pierre was noted for his temper. He twice had prolonged suspensions in Cuba due to hitting umpires and he also had run-ins with INDER (the Instituto Nacional de Deportes, Educación Física y Recreación), the organization that oversees Cuban league baseball.