Higinio left a successful and recognized legacy in the island’s sport.
Photo: Jacobsohn / Getty Images
The Covid-19 it continues to leave entire nations in sadness and institutions adrift. On this occasion, Cuban baseball is one more victim of the coronavirus rampages. The Cuban media reported that on Wednesday May 13 Higinio Vélez passed away, president of the Cuban Baseball Federation.
Vélez was 73 years old. The former leader could not emerge victorious from the battle against Covid-19. This disease kept him in serious health conditions for a long time. In this sense, the Cuban leaves a great leadership vacuum, since Higinio had more than 13 years in command of the Cuban federation.
WBSC mourns the loss of legendary Cuban baseball leader Higinio Vélez, a decorated National Team manager and federation president. This is a tremendous loss for international baseball. Condolences to his loved ones and the entire Cuban baseball community. https://t.co/wFnlzjSIek
– WBSC ⚾🥎 (@WBSC) May 12, 2021
Higinio’s death significantly affects the structure of this entity. It is worth mentioning that a few weeks ago, also because of Covid-19, he died Ernesto Reynoso who held the position of first national baseball commissioner in Cuba.
Cuba loses its second baseball executive in 15 days to Covid. Federation president Higinio Vélez dies at age 74. #Cuba @WBSC https://t.co/zTUicv119N pic.twitter.com/kZ5thpvdKL
– Around the Rings (@AroundTheRings) May 14, 2021
Higinio’s legacy in island baseball
Vélez undoubtedly left a mark on Cuban sports and, specifically, on baseball. Higinio led several teams in his country and was the winning coach of four national series. However, Vélez had the highest honors by being the manager of the team that won the gold medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
We join the international baseball community in mourning the loss of Cuban manager and president Higinio Vélez.
📰: https://t.co/tIoy544qlu pic.twitter.com/5KeRpdDCw4
– USA Baseball (@USABaseball) May 13, 2021
According to data from the EFE news agency, Vélez obtained the highest position in the Havana World Cup in 2003 Y Holland in 2005. In addition, the successful manager led his squad to establish themselves and get the first runner-up in the World Baseball Classic.
Higinio’s career spanned more than 25 tournaments. In Cuba he directed Miners, Orientales, Serranos and Santiago de Cuba. In all those championships Vélez left a record of 892 victories and 565 defeats.
From all of us @LittleLeague International our deepest condolences to the family and friends of @CubanaBeisbol President Higinio Velez who we lost too soon… Higinio worked hard to develop the partnership between @LittleLeague and @CubanaBeisbol pic.twitter .com / 8BAF6BSO5o
– Steve Keener (@littleleagueceo) May 12, 2021
Covid-19 attacks baseball
In the last National Baseball Series of the island, a large number of cases of contagion have been reported in which players and managers have been involved. Although this tournament was held without the presence of the public, this was not an impediment to the spread of the disease. Even the cases of Coronavirus motivated the authorities to postpone and rearrange the event schedule.