Video: The Ozzie Smith of Cuba, More or Less

While acquainting himself with the internet last night, the author found his way to a post by Mop Up Duty’s Callum Hughson from late 2010 regarding retired Cuban shortstop German Mesa. As notes Hughson, Mesa is regarded not only as the best defensive shortstop ever to have played in the Cuban domestic league, but was also an above-average offensive player for much of his career, which lasted from 1986 to 2002, when he retired.

What one learns from the video embedded here is that — regardless of how many runs he saved and/or produced — Mesa is capable of convincing a lone, tired internet surfer that life is not sinkhole of misery.

What else one learns (both from Hughson and the rest of the internet) is this:

• He was nicknamed El Mago (the Magician) and El Imán (the Magnet).
• He played for Industriales for his entire career (except when he played for Metropolitanos, their farm team).
• He slashed .285/.386/.423 in 4,344 career at-bats, probably.
• He was banned for life for 1.5 years between October of 1996 and March of 1998.
• He had terrific rapport, as the video here indicates, with Industriales second baseman Juan Padilla.



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rufus t. firefly
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rufus t. firefly

Lovely indeed.

Steve
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Steve

Rey Ordonez was the Ozzie Smith of Cuba. More or less.

jcxy
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jcxy

Curious he earned both “The Magnet” and “The Magician”. A magnet would seem to have questionable range but strong fundamentals (Jeter) whereas a magician would demonstrate jaw dropping range but mediocre auxiliary skills (Ordonez).

Mr. Plow
Member
Mr. Plow

He played from 1986 until 2002, but was banned for life from October 1996 to March 1998? Say what?

RA Rowe
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RA Rowe

two curiosities, unmentioned.

1) Metal Bats
2) Enormous glove for a shortstop

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