By Yasel Porto
The Cuban migratory wave of recent months has included many retired and active players. Among them appears a figure who at the time was among the best talents in Cuban baseball, who has just settled in the United States.
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This is the former Havana gardener Eliut Torres, part of that very talented generation at the beginning of the current century in which Kendrys Morales, Yulieski Gurriel and Héctor Olivera were the main protagonists.
“Now I am here in the United States, brother,” was how he headed his message on Sunday when he gave me the news of his arrival in North American territory after crossing several countries and finally crossing the southern border.
Like many other Cubans, there were very complex situations on a journey that began in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and which later took him to Nicaragua to continue the traditional route to the border between Mexico and the United States. The crossing was through the Piedras Negras area.
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«I wanted to leave from my time as an active player but a great opportunity never presented itself. Now the economic situation in Cuba forced me to make this decision for my family. It was time, you couldn’t wait any longer. I had to do it now,” the former outfielder and left-handed hitter told me.
Eliut Torres was one of the most talented players in Havana at the beginning of the first decade of the current century. His passage through the lower categories was impressive, which presaged a great future at the top level.
He even joined the youth national team that in 2002 won the world competition held in Canada. There were, among others, well-known figures such as Yulieski Gurriel, Héctor Olivera and Deynis Suárez, among others.
He spent a year without qualifying for the National Series since leaving the junior category, and in 2003-04 he made his debut with Rey Vicente Anglada’s Industriales, who that year retained the crown from the previous season. Eliut was a substitute player but his speed, tact and excellent defense were taken advantage of at various times.
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Many will remember him in the decisive game between the Leones and Villa Clara, in which he was the protagonist of a controversial play that led to the expulsion of manager Víctor Mesa.
After that he was transferred to Metropolitanos, the defunct Havana second team, and it was there where he spent most of his sports career. He became one of the most prominent figures in the scarlet squad, and his offensive level became more and more remarkable. In his last contest with the reds (2011-12) he had his best year after hitting 10 home runs, batting .317 and driving in 49 runs.
He returned twice to the Industriales. The most important time was in the 2009-2010 season in which the Leones won their last crown under the direction of Germán. He then returned to the Industriales in the stage of Lázaro Vargas, but his results were not the same compared to his stay in the well-known Guerreros.
The native of the Arroyo Naranjo municipality promised me to give more details of his journey, his goals and also to remember or make known many important details of his past in baseball. That will happen as soon as this Wednesday in the space “Swing in the foreground” hosted by the Matanzas journalist Raúl Almeida.