BASEBALL: Cuban umpire sees red

Ben Walker
Tuesday 04 May 1999 23:02

THE MILLIONAIRES of Baltimore Orioles were humbled by the modestly remunerated Cuban national side 12-6 in a remarkable exhibition game on Monday night. The Orioles, whose 7-17 record - the worst in the American League - belies their payroll of more than $78m (pounds 48.75m) were outplayed by a team whose players make a total of about $2,250 (pounds 1,400).

To add to the drama, an umpire, Cesar Valdez, attacked an anti-Castro demonstrator who had run on to the field carrying a sign proclaiming "Freedom - Strike Out Against Castro". The incident happened an innings after three protesters had run on to the outfield and were arrested.

Valdez, one of three Cubans on the six-man umpiring team, tangled briefly with the protester, and then lifted the fan over his head and threw him to the ground. Valdez appeared to land a couple of blows to the man's head, before the Orioles' left fielder, BJ Surhoff, rushed in and pulled him off.

Police said three of the people who ran on to the field - all from Miami - were given criminal citations for trespassing.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments