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Cubas Catcher Ariel Pestano Announces His Retirement
Pestano (34), from the central province of Villa Clara, said he will retire after the world championship scheduled for September this year, 2009.

The news left Cuban baseball fans perplexed. They consider Pestano’s retirement premature because of the high level of performance he has kept up during the ongoing season and his prestige as the best defensive catcher of Cuba.

Pestano is among the top ten in runs batted in this current national championship with 40 RBIs, he is the player who has taken his team to a tie or into a lead the most (15 times) and he holds an astronomic average of 365 with runners on bases. He made the Cuban team for Athens 2004 Olympic Games, where Cuba took gold, and also in Sidney 2000 and Beijing 2008, where the island ended in the second place.

In statements to the press, Pestano, who has not even suffered an injury, something that is not common in catchers his age, said he will dedicate his efforts to training and developing the skills of his son, who is a catcher in the minor categories.

Pestano is considered the only baseball player who could compete with the best defensive catcher of all time in Cuba, Juan Castro.

The oldest Cuban catchers participating in the ongoing national series are: Rolando Meriño, from Santiago de Cuba , 37; Vladimir Garca, Isla de la Juventud, 36; Ariel Pestano, Villa Clara, 34; Jokel Gil Acosta, Industriales, 33 and Eriel Sanchez, Sancti Spíritus, 33.


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