Who Is Omar Linares? • Latino Sports

Cuban Baseball

Who Is Omar Linares?


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Omar Linares played for 20 seasons for Pinar Del Rio in the Cuban Baseball League. He retired with a .368 batting average and a .637 slugging percentage. Baseball fans might remember him when Cuba played Japan in the 96 Olympics in Atlanta and he hit 3 homeruns to secure Cuba the victory.

He is considered the best Cuban baseball player to have played the game, and during the 90’s considered one of the best baseball players in the planet. On several occasions he was approached and enticed to defect to the U.S. to play major league ball. There are rumors that he was given a blank check by the Philadelphia Phillies for him to write down whatever amount he wanted to get paid. He turned that down. Refusing to leave and abandon Cuba.

There is another rumor that on another occasion he was offered a contract to play with the Toronto Blue Jays and only play in Canada, thus by not traveling with the team to the U.S. games he would not have to defect and the U.S. blockade laws would not apply. That never occurred.

Who is this world caliber baseball player, now retired that we know very little of?

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About Julio Pabón

Julio is President and Founder of Latino Sports LLC., the parent company of Latinosports.com. Julio is a product of the South Bronx where he still lives and runs his businesses. Julio has written and has been interviewed for numerous publication and networks on sports & political issues. He has been an activist promoting social justice and respect for all communities. He is a recognized motivational speaker, was an adjunct professor of American History and presently volunteer's as a lecturer in local South Bronx High Schools. His primary goal is to make Latinosports.com a multi-facet sports portal that will engender social and economic empowerment to the Latino community.

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  • wgerenarochet

    Interesting account of the ecounter then and now. He is an example of a personal steadfastness to his values that is also one Cuba stuck to, leading to their triumph over US intent to smash their Revolution: that in part has been to uphold and safeguard their sovereignty. At this moment I would dismiss talk of “Post Revolution,” but rather the Post-US failed policy of regime change, which at the end resulted of the isolation of the US instead.