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Friday, July 08, 2005 By: Juan Paxety
When thinking of Cuban baseball players today, one usually thinks of Livan and Orlando Hernandez or Jose Contreras. The Detroit News today reminds us of one who came much earlier - Barbaro Garbey. He was the first Cuban National Team player to escape fidel - in the Mariel boatlift of 1980. And by 1984, he was helping the Detroit Tigers win the World Series. He was a good line-drive hitter - his average in 1984 was .287 with a .391 slugging percentage. Unfortunately, he didn't play any position in the field very well.
Read the whole thing for a good story that reminds us that the popular perception of Mariel is wrong. Barbaro Garbey seems to be a good, solid citizen.