Lázaro Santana

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Lázaro Santana Herrera

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Lázaro Santana pitched for 17 seasons in Cuba; his son Lázaro Santana Jr. would also play in Cuba.

Santana pitched 28 games as a teenager for the Orientales in 1965-1966 to tie Raúl López for the Cuban Serie Nacional lead. In 1967-1968, the right-hander issued 13 intentional walks for the Granjeros to lead the loop. He led in games (43) and relief stints (39) in 1968-1969 while tying Gaspar Pérez for the most intentional walks (13). In 1969-1970, he allowed 102 hits for Camagüey to pace the circuit.

In 1975-1976, he had one of his best seasons. With the Granjeros, he tied Omar Carrero for the win lead (8), led in complete games (9) and led in innings pitched (99). During 1976-1977, he was a workhorse again for the Granjeros, leading all hurlers in innings (93 1/3), starts (11) and complete games (10). In the 1977 Series Selectivas, he won 10 games for the Camagüeyanos to lead the league.

Santana pitched for the Cuban national team in the 1969 Amateur World Series (2-0, 2.45), 1978 Central American and Caribbean Games (1-0, 5.40), 1978 Amateur World Series (2-0, 0.69) and 1979 Pan American Games (6.23, Cuba's highest ERA, no decisions). Cuba won Gold in all four events.

Lázaro was 140-116 in 17 seasons. He pitched 418 games, 191 of them starts (101 complete). He allowed a .225 average and posted a 2.35 ERA. As of 2010, his 98 intentional walks led Castro-era Cuba; he was not in the top ten in any other category.

Santana later coached in Cuba and also worked on baseball in Italy (2000) and Venezuela (2004-2006) as part of Cuba's program of lending out coaches to other countries.

Sources: 2005 Guia Official de Beisbol, A History of Cuban Baseball by Peter Bjarkman, Ecured, Defunct IBAF site