Habana (Series Selectivas)

From BR Bullpen

Habana played every season of the Cuban Series Selectivas in the 20th Century.

Habana was 32-22 in the first season, 1975, to tie for second place, one game behind Oriente. Habana's Armando Capiró led the league in runs (44) and tied for the most homers (12). They won the 1976 season at 34-20, one game ahead of the runners-up. Capiró tied for the double lead with 12 but they had no other league leaders.

In 1977, Habana fell to 28-26 and the middle of the pack. Rey Vicente Anglada led the league with 18 steals. In 1978, they went 33-27 to place third, two games out. Santiago Mederos (7-2) had the best record that season while Pedro Medina led with 15 doubles.

The next year, the team was 31-29 to finish third. Lázaro de la Torre was a bright spot at 7-0. In 1980, the Habana outfit posted a record of 33-27, second behind Pinar del Río. Agustín Marquetti led the loop with 17 doubles and Anglada led with 17 steals. José Darcourt had the most strikeouts, 91.

In 1981, the capital's club was 3rd at 35-25. Angel Díaz had the best record at 9-2 while Anglada again led in steals, this time with 17. 1982 saw the team fall to 5th at 29-28. They were fourth at 30-30 in 1983.

Habana fell under .500 for the first time in 1984 at 22-23. They improved to 25-20 and a game behind the champion Las Villas in 1985. That year, they were led by familiar names as Medina led the league in runs (35) and homers (13) and de la Torre led with 9 wins. José M. Pedroso had the best winning percentage with a 4-0 mark.

The team was again second in 1986 at 39-25, two games behind the Serranos. Rolando Verde led the circuit with 18 doubles. In 1987, Habana was 41-22, a game back of the Serranos. Pablo Abreu's 114 strikeouts were the most in the Series Selectivas that season.

In 1988, the club was 39-24, second once again, a game behind Pinar del Rio. They were led by Germán Mesa (a league-best 91 hits and 6 triples), Lázaro Valle (10 wins, the most), strike out king René Arocha (106) and ERA leader Orlando Hernández (3.18).

Habana was 45-18 in 1989 to tie Las Villas for the best record, but fell to them 2-0 in a best-of-3 championship. Lázaro Valle (10-0) and Arocha tied for the league lead in wins. In 1990, the club had a record of 46-17 under manager Servio Borges to take their first title in 14 years despite several close calls. Antonio González won the batting title (.416) while El Duque was 10-1 to lead the mound corps.

The team went 39-24 to finish second in 1991 behind Pinar del Rio. Valle (10-1) had the best winning percentage while Osvaldo Fernández Guerra had the best ERA (2.09). In 1992, they had the best regular-season record at 41-21 but Cuba went to a two-division format and they lost the best-of-7 finals, 4 games to 3, to the Serranos. Orlando Hernández led the league in ERA (2.23) and wins (10-2).

In 1993, the team was 24-21, one game behind the champion Orientales as the league shrank from 8 teams to 4. Mesa led in runs (40) and Fernández led with 59 strikeouts. During 1994, Habana was 19-26, third of four teams, for their worst record yet. Pedro Luis Rodríguez led the league with 13 doubles and Romelio Martínez led with 10 home runs. In the league's last year of the century, 1995, the team was again 19-26 and third. Romelio Martínez led with 16 homers, while Lázaro Valle led with 53 strikeouts.