This morning the world of Cuban baseball awoke to some sad news, it that of the passing of Matanzas baseball legend Yoandy Garlobo. Known as the “Tigre de Jovellanos”, Garlobo was the face of a lowly Cocodrilos de Matanzas franchise from 2000-10.
During his 16 seasons in the Serie Nacional the first baseman hit a robust .335 with 109 longballs, 33 triples and 198 doubles in 3,771 trips to the plate. His best season in the Cuban National Series was 2005-06 when he batted .407 with 96 hits, 12 of his them being homeruns, 12 doubles, a triple and amassed a .548 OBP.
¡Nefasta, terrible, fatídica noche de sábado con la noticia que acabo de recibir, ay co….! ¡A sus 46 años ha dejado de respirar uno de los mejores bateadores de la historia de las SNB, ha fallecido Yoandy Garlobo, el All-Star del WBC 2006. ¡Caballo, descaza en paz! 🙏🙏 pic.twitter.com/PMuxShxdOm
— Drian Bernal ⚾️ / 🇨🇺🇪🇨 (@Drianrogelio) July 16, 2023
Garlobo was one of the catalyst for the 2006 World Baseball Classic Cuban team, which was runner-up to Japan. Garlobo led Cuba with a .480 batting average and was second in the tournament with 12 hits, tying the legendary Ichiro Suzuki. For his efforts the infielder made the all tournament team as a DH. Garlobo was also fourth in the competition with a .536 OBP.
Current Matanzas slugger Yadir Drake has called on the higher-ups in Cuba’s National Series to retire Garlobo’s number, ” “I would like that in Matanzas they do the right thing in this instance here retire this number, and that no one else can use it ever again in the National Series or in a Matanzas uniform,” Drake concluded.
Garlobo’s passing prematurely at the age of 46 has left a void in the world of Cuban baseball, but his legacy will live on in the memories of his teammates and those who had the opportunity to witness his prowess on the diamond. His words and his influence will continue to resonate in the lives and careers of players like Yadir Drake, who are keeping alive the spirit of the “Tigre de Jovellanos”.