Yoenis Southeran: “Every Cuban’s dream is to come home.”

Yoenis Southeran was the original Yoenis, before we knew about Céspedes he was already established. The first baseman was very overlooked for years, between him and Giorbis Duvergel Guantanamo had a talented tandem that rivaled anyone in the Serie Nacional.

During his 15 seasons in Cuba, he hit .292 with 123 long balls, 570 RBI’s, and a slash line of .384/.464/.849. I remind you Cuba played 90 game season for all of these seasons. Southeran hit .300 six times during that span. The infielder was very versatile in the field and even set a record in Guantanamo for errorless games, although 1B wasn’t his position of choice.

Giorbis Duvergel and yourself formed a great tandem during your time in Guantánamo, in your opinion where you underestimated?

Well, you know how Cuban baseball works we weren’t the worst but we weren’t the best. But yes we had a lot of great years together in a strong Cuban League. In fact, we hit against plenty of pitchers who are and were big leaguers.

You have the record for errorless games for a first baseman in Guantánamo. Did you feel pressure when approaching the record?

I wasn’t even aware at first I was near the record, when i became aware I can’t lie the nerves did set in. I enjoy playing defense more than I enjoy hitting. First base isn’t even my original position I’m more of a second or third baseman, the problem is I played it so well they kept me there. Having such talented infielders around me also helped my streak.

You had your best year late in your career during 2010-11 campaign. What adjustments did you make to attain those results?

It had to be the training our coaches Francisco Acosta and Gerardo Simon they prepared me very well during that offseason and the results paid dividends. Also having a talent such as Duvergel hit behind me was an advantage I saw plenty of good pitches to hit.

You retired for two years and then came back with Las Tunas, why?

I had problems with the upper management with Guantánamo, so I decided to take some time off. But when I did return I wanted to come back somewhere near Cuba’s eastern provinces. During my time off I was very upset with Cuban baseball in general, but then Ermidelio Urrutia approached me about a comeback and everything fell in place from there.

It’s common knowledge that you immigrated to the Dominican Republic, what do you do in the current day?

I’ve settled in the DR and I have a son that plays baseball here and I’ve dedicated myself to have him reach the majors and keep the Southeran name alive in baseball. My son is an outfielder, he has a good arm and plenty of power. God willing he will sign in the near future.

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