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Leones de Yucatán

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Title: Leones de Yucatán  
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Subject: Mérida, Yucatán, Fernando Valenzuela, Luis Matos, Roberto Novoa, Luis Vizcaíno, 2006 in baseball, Franklin Stubbs, Estadio de Béisbol Kukulkán, Mexican League, Vicente Romo
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Leones de Yucatán

The Leones de Yucatán (English: Yucatán Lions) are a Triple-A level baseball team playing in the Mexican League. Their home games are played at Estadio De Béisbol Kukulkán in Mérida, Yucatán.

History

The Yucatan Lions began play in the Mexican League in 1954, thanks to the efforts of Alvaro Ponce Vidiella and h Humberto "Beto" Abimerhi Abimerhi. The team's story is divided into three stages. The first covers until 1958, the second from 1970 to 1974 and from 1979.

Mexican League Premiere

After several attempts, Ponce Abimerhi Abimerhi Vidiella founded the Leones. The team nickname was a reference to the name of the beer company built by the Ponce family. On January 5, 1954 the team's entry to the circuit was announced and on April 17 of that year the Leones opened the season at the newly built Clara Park Charter, hosting the previous season's champions, the Nuevo Laredo Owls and earning an 8-0 victory. In its first year in the league, the Leones won 47 games and lost 32, with one tie and finished in second place to the defending champion Owls. The team ceased play after the 1958 season[1]

Second version

In 1969, filmmaker Manuel Barbachano Yucatan Ponce, moved the Pericos de Puebla franchise to Mérida in 1970, renaming it the Leones. In the opening game of the 1970 season on 18 March the Leones beat the Rojos del Águila de Veracruz 4-1. The franchise remained Mérida for five seasons and then moved to Villahermosa, Tabasco when Ariel "Picho" Magaña Carrillo purchased the team.

Third version

The third incarnation of the Lions began in 1979. On April 6, 1978, the Assembly of the Mexican League approved expansion teams 16-20 for the 1979 season. One of the expansion teams was awarded to Yuctan.[2]

On March 16, 1979, the Leones officially returned to the Mexican League when it opened the season at the Cordoba Cafeteros and lost 10-4. As an expansion team, the Leones finished fifth in the Southern Division with 62 wins and 69 losses, but perhaps most important of the season was the performance of rookie pitcher Fernando Valenzuela, who later became a star in Major League Baseball. Valenzuela won 10 games, lost 12 with an earned run average of 2.42, allowed only 70walks while striking out 141 batters in 181 innings, and caught the attention of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Rivalries

Piratas de Campeche

Since they made their appearance in the Mexican League in summer 1954, the Lions have had fierce rivalries, first with the Mexico City Diablos Rojos and the Mexico City Tigres and then from 1980 with the Campeche Piratas.

Retired Numbers

  • 1 Juan José Pacho Burgos
  • 3 Mercedes Esquer Llanes
  • 15 Juan Fernando Villaescusa Elías
  • 17 Carlos Paz González
  • 18 Raymundo Antonio Torres Ruiz
  • 19 Ricardo Conde Hernández
  • 21 Héctor Espino González
  • 29 Leonel Aldama Rossel

Current roster

External links

  • older logo

References

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