Adolfo Luque: The ‘Pride of Havana’ and Cuban baseball

Havana, Aug 4 (Prensa Latina) A curve ball hurler, with great control particularly on the low zone, Adolfo Luque Guzman is, on his 130th anniversary of his birth, in the summit of the history of baseball in Cuba.

A native of Havana, Luque comes from a wealthy white family. An upright man who spoke English and Spanish, he was nicknamed by sports writers of the time as the Havana Perfect of the Pride of Havana.

He made his debut in baseball in 1912 playing for the Carmelitas del Fe in the Cuban Professional League, although most of his legend was written with the Almendares club.

With a strong, brusque and impetuous temperament, the “Habana Perfecto” transcends to the present day for his powerful pitching arm and unique intelligence to dominate every detail of the ball game.

His success in the boxing arena places him at the forefront of Cuban pitchers with 300 victories during more than two decades of active career, a feat that compiles the national tournaments (106) and the U.S. Major Leagues (194).

Luque is one of the few Cuban ballplayers to feel the pressure of a World Series in the MLB: the first, in 1919 with the Cincinnati Reds against the Chicago White Sox; the other in 1933, just at the age of 43, when he led the New York Giants to victory against the Washington Senators.

Adolfo Luque dies on July 3, 1957, victim of a heart attack in his beloved Havana. With his death the national pastime lost the athlete, coach and director who made baseball his greatest passion.