Tragedy Strikes: Cuban Pitcher Dies at Age 28

By José Alejandro Rodríguez Zas

During the first hour of this Friday March 4th, 2022, fans of Cuban baseball, especially those from the Avispas de Santiago de Cuba (Santiago de Cuba Wasps), received sad and heartbreaking news.

Just two days after his 28th birthday, the 28-year-old eastern hurler Ulfrido García Andújar passed away due to a heart attack, according to information provided to Swing Completo by several sources close to the player.

Daniel Agrás Montoya, manager of the Facebook page of the Avispas Santiagueras, made the news public in his social media, with a message full of sadness and nostalgia.

“A very sad morning for all the fans in Santiago de Cuba and the country in general. We have just heard the heartbreaking news of the passing of Ulfrido García. God, how sad! We still don’t have all the information. As the day goes by we will provide better information. Rest in peace little brother. On behalf of our big family and the page Admins, we want to offer our deepest condolences to our family, friends and teammates.”

According to journalist Cuscó Tarradell’s Facebook page, Ulfrido’s death was sudden, “victim of a heart attack,” at about 4:30am in the Altos of the 30 de Noviembre neighborhood, where he lived in his native Santiago de Cuba.

García was “recovering from an arm injury during this season. Last year, during the month of February, he received an implant of stem cells on his shoulder due to the wear suffered in one of his tendons, although such procedure was not fully successful due to the haste in rehab,” said Tarradell.

“A few days ago, Ulfrido was all joy because he celebrated his 28th birthday along with his friends, and they said he was laughing like a child. Sadly, he leaves behind his one-year-old daughter Samantha García and his wife Gretel Rodríguez, who is with his family in this gray day, along with his friend, hurler Danny Betancourt,” the journalist added.

The team’s manager, Eriberto Rosales, commented:

“Ulfrido was highly motivated: he was dreaming about and getting ready to come back to the top of our National Series. This passing is both hard to believe and accept for those who knew him and admired him.”

Ulfrido pitched during eight National Series for the team of the Avispas starting from his debut in 2012 until January 2020. He was also a reinforcement of the team of Isla de la Juventud in the 54th campaign, Granma in the 55th and 57th, and Holguín in the 58th.

In his Cuban career, he totaled 168 games, with 45 wins, 60 losses and a save, a 4.54 ERA, a 1.60 WHIP, striking out 398 batters and issuing 337 bases on balls, with a .287 opponent batting average.

The young hurler missed last season of the National Series after injuring his throwing arm, which was the reason, along with some personal issues, that kept him off the roster of Santiago de Cuba in this 61st campaign.

According to Cuscó Tarradell, the funeral would be held yesterday, March 4th in Cabaña, the Constituency of Las Perlas, in the municipality of Songo La Maya.

May his family, friends and teammates receive our deepest condolences from the entire team of Swing Completo.

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