The 28th anniversary of the declaration of Palmar de Junco as a National Monument and the 50th of the Cuban triumph against the United States on August 26th, 1969, at the World Baseball Championship in the Dominican Republic, were remembered at the historic Matanzas stadium.
With the proclamation as a National Monument on July 24th, 1991, Palmar de Junco became the first Cuban sports facility to receive that distinction, for which its history was taken into account as the venue for different meetings of this sport on the Island in the mid-nineteenth century and especially for that match between the teams Habana and Matanzas, occurred on December 27th, 1874, considered the first of an organized nature.
As for the memorable triumph of the Cuban national team against the United States, two races for one, in the Quisqueya stadium, of which we will turn 50, was the first achieved by Cuba before a team of that nation in competitions of the Orb after the triumph of the Revolution and in which three Matanzas, Gaspar “Curro” Pérez, Félix Isasi and Rigoberto Rosique, together with the capitalist Tony González, played a decisive role.
The celebrations, convened by the management of the Local Development Project that bears the name of the famous stadium, had the presence of prominent personalities of the culture and history of the provinces Havana and Matanzas, as well as glories of the territory’s sport.
As part of the program, a temporary exhibition called Anniversary 28 was inaugurated, the customary visit to the Hall of Fame of the Yumurina province, the only one of its kind in the country and the transmission of the Cuban victory in the Dominican Republic in the voice of the unforgettable Bobby Salamanca.
The second part of the meeting was dedicated to the technical section of work analysis of the aforementioned Local Project and the hot topic of the National Hall of Fame.
This point of the program began with the report of the engineer Elena González, director of the installation, in which she reflected the perspectives of the future work through slides, the support received from the Government and the Party and the self-financing since its foundation in 2016.
There was extensive debate with highly applauded interventions such as those of the Doctor of Historical Sciences Félix Julio Alfonso; Norberto Codina, director of the Gazette of Cuba; Alfredo Santana and Reynaldo González, of the expert group of the Matanzas Hall; Dr. Rafael Acosta, of the Antonio Nuñez Jiménez Caving Society; Nivaldo Hernández, president of the Institute of Neurosciences and the Martiano Club and Ercilio Vento, Historian of the City of Matanzas, related to baseball, Matanzas history and the long-awaited National Hall of Fame that has not materialized.
Within this scientific and historical debate about our National Sport, the companion Elena González proposed that the Palmar de Junco stadium, the oldest active in the world as a World Heritage Site, be recognized, which brought a special intervention by Nilson Acosta, vice president of the National Cultural Heritage Council.
“The fact of being this National Monument stadium recognizes it as the nation’s cultural heritage. Now, that element that the Palmar is the oldest installation of this active sport in the world would give a lot when selecting it, said Acosta. Matanzas is one of the provinces with the most sites with conditions for that international award and that are on the indicative list to be approved. ”
As for the presence of sports facilities in other countries in that range of Patrimony of Humanity, said the vice president, «I don’t think there is any, but since sport is an exponent of culture, this dream of the Matanzas is possible, that to be achieved, it must be backed up with a technical analysis with very rigorous scientific methods”.
This meeting, where history, culture and sport came together once again, was closed by Mr. José Luis Gándara, Provincial Director of INDER, who thanked the presence of the guests and considered the quality of the meeting to be very high.
As a climax, Dr. Félix Julio Alfonso presented his latest book Senderos interchange in the history of Cuban baseball, accompanied by Norberto Codina, one of the co-authors of the edition.