Alfredo Despaigne Rodríguez, who participated in the last three seasons of the Professional Baseball League of Japan and is considered the best player resident in Cuba, said in this city that to be a champion with Granma is the greatest thing of his career.
After the fourth and definitive success of the Granma squad over the Tigers of Ciego de Avila, he told the Cuban News Agency that neither home run leader in National Baseball Series (SNB) and international events, nor successes in foreign leagues are comparable to the happiness to reach the title of Cuba with the Alazanes, the team with which he debuted in 2004.
He said that after defeating Matanzas in the semifinal, best team of the qualifying stage and favorite of all, he thought more strongly about the possibility to win the trophy, as the mood of the team increased to 120 percent, and grew more with the first two wins on Ciego de Ávila, as visitors at the José Ramón Cepero stadium.
He added that they will make their greatest effort to represent Cuba with dignity in the Caribbean Series, which will take place in Mexico from next February 1 to 7.
Despaigne Rodriguez, who has a record of 36 homers in a SNB in 2012, said the next week he should sign a new contract with a Japanese club for the coming seasons, but did not specify the name.
He said that he should join the Asian team in March, after his participation with Cuba in the World Baseball Classic.
In the just-concluded play off, the 30-year-old powerful batter received 20 base on balls, a record for this phase, and hit three homers, including one to define the first game with the Tigers in the tenth inning.
The 2016 was his best season in the Asian country, scored more than 80 runs, impelled more than 90 and achieved 26 home runs, greatest personal record in the same campaign there, including two in the postseason.
Carlos Martí Santos, director of the Alazanes, on several occasions highlighted the quality of Despaigne as an athlete and leader of the Granma team, because he always plays to his best, defines matches and is a good example for his teammates.
Granma won all four games to Ciego de Avila in the final with scores of (4-3), (3-2), ( 10-1) and (3 -2).