Juan Gonzalez leads Grises de Humacao to first Puerto Rico Double-A title in 70 years

Juan Gonzalez leads Grises de Humacao to first Puerto Rico Double-A title in 70 years
15/11/2021
The former MLB All-Star is also the manager of the Puerto Rican National Team. "We achieved what six months ago seemed impossible," Puerto Rican Baseball Federation President Quiles Rosas said.

The Grises de Humacao defeated the Bravos de Cidra in the seven-game final series and claimed the 2021 title in the Puerto Rico Superior Double-A League.

The win came after an emotional game seven in front of 3,500 fans at the Jesus Maria Freire Stadium in Cidra. The Grises won 5-4 after leading 5-0. Jorge Soler earned the win, and Christian Flecha got the save.

The Grises also survived two elimination games before clinching the title with the game-seven win.

It's the second title in the history of the Grises, who hadn't celebrated a Double-A championship since 1951.

"My players gave everything they had, and the fans supported us from day one," commented Juan Igor Gonzalez, the first-year manager of the Grises.

Gonzalez, 52, is a former Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star hitter. He managed Puerto Rico to the Central American and Caribbean Games 2018 and the Pan American Games 2019 titles. He also led Puerto Rico in the WBSC Premier12 2019 and the Olympic Qualifiers.

The Superior Double-A League is the second tier of competition in Puerto Rico behind the professional Roberto Clemente Winter League (LBPRC). It features 43 participating clubs.

"We achieved what six months ago seemed impossible," commented José Daniel Quiles Rosas, the Puerto Rican Baseball Federation President. "Six months ago, everybody thought it would be difficult to run the season."

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the federation to cancel the 2020 season for the first time in 82 years.

"I knew," said Quiles Rosas, "that baseball was going to come back with fans in the standing. We wanted to give joy to Puerto Rican families."

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