Friday, May 28, 2010

Cuban no-hit hurler, 'Limonar' Martinez dies at age 91

The author of the first no-hitter thrown at El Gran Stadium de la Habana has died.

Rogelio "Limonar" Martinez died Monday after a fall at his home in Connecticut. He was 91. Here's the Spanish-language story that ran in Miami's El Nuevo Herald.

A star of Cuba's amateur ranks, Martinez pitched for Almendares, Matanzas, Marianao (left) and Habana in the professional Cuban League.

With Marianao, Martinez threw a no-hitter against Almendares on Feb. 15, 1950. According to Jorge Figueredo's Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, 1878-1961, Martinez retired the first 21 batters he faced, but he lost the perfect game when he hit Roberto Ortiz with a pitch to open the eighth inning.

For the accomplishment, Bohemia magazine gave Martinez a $1,500 check.

Aside from the amateur ranks, Martinez's greatest success came with the Florida International Leagues' Havana Cubans, with whom he went 9-4 with a 1.90 ERA (1957), 19-9 with a 1.86 ERA (1949) and 10-4 with a 1.72 ERA (1950).

He also pitched one season with the Washington Senators in 1950.

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