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Cuba’s longest-serving baseball player nears historic goal

Danel Castro, 47-year-old Cuban baseball player, will try today in the last game of the regular stage of the II Elite League to reach the 2,500-hit mark.

The «Panther of Manatí» is the historical leader in that department in the baseball championships held in the largest of the Antilles, and only needs five more to reach that goal before retiring.

Fortunately for this tireless athlete, his team of «Leñadores Tuneros» reached the playoffs last night and will have more opportunities to do so before the end of the season.

In the current campaign, from his unmovable third-inning spot in the lineup, this fearsome hitter has been below the quality he showed during his 29 National Series, but he continues to worry opposing pitchers when he stands in the batter’s box.

In his entire career, he averaged 278 offensive hits with 388 doubles, 47 triples, 251 homers and 1,376 RBIs.

His closest competitor in the all-time hits list is Frederich Cepeda of El Espiritu, who has a total of 2,408 and, despite his 43 years of age, still seems to have enough gas to play a few more games.

He is followed by the already retired Enrique Díaz (2,378) and «The Captain of Captains» Antonio Pacheco (2,356), both harassed by the still active Yunier Mendoza (2,355).

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