Conrado Marrero, the world’s oldest Major League Baseball player, just turned 102 in Cuba. He celebrated this with a fine Cuban cigar and a sip of Bucanero, a popular Cuban beer that most Americans have never tasted. As he enjoyed these forbidden pleasures, he also got the news that he would finally get something he himself has been denied for many years, payment from the league that he once played for.
Some things take a little time.
The irony. This communist citizen was once a Washington Senator. As a former player on that team, Marrero has received a $20,000 payout from Major League Baseball. It’s a special fee, guaranteed to aging veterans that played professionally from 1947 to 1979. Funds were stalled due to the U.S. embargo against Marrero’s country.
Now, the sport wants to right this wrong.
Former pitcher and MLB spokesman Steve Rogers told YouWager’s source, “Everything that he was entitled to has now been delivered to him. We found a way to get the funds to him. It was personally delivered and it was all sanctioned by the Treasury Department.”
For many years, Marrero’s life was all about the past, his history. And U.S. State Department policy. Marrero knows all about aging, and sports. By the time he got the chance to compete in the majors, he was almost 39 years old. YouWager’s resident historian says that by then Marrero was mainly known for slow pitches- curves, sliders, and knucklers. One insider described him this way: “A bit plump, of less than average height, with short arms and small hands.”
Only 5-foot-5 and 158 pounds, apparently, Marrero found something else, something extra, something inside himself, that few could explain. He racked up a 39-40 record and a 3.67 ERA in 5 seasons with the Senators, during the years between 1950 and 1954.
But it wasn’t pretty.
According to a reliable YouWager source, Felipe Alou said, “Connie Marrero had a windup that looked like a cross between a windmill gone berserk and a mallard duck trying to fly backwards.”
In his country’s civil war, Marrero, like Robert E. Lee, despite some excellent offers, followed his heart and chose the home team. And he suffered the consequences. After the revolution, Marrero was one of the most famous baseball players to stay in Cuba. But he was no longer the young right-hander that had inspired a nation. The pitcher had aged. For many years, he coached. According to YouWager’s source, by the time he learned of the check, Marrero was living in a room in a relative’s apartment. He had never received a pension from Major League Baseball.
YouWager’s source reports that Marrero’s family has already used some of the money to buy the aging pitcher a new ventilator and a bed. They have also sprung for wine, ham, cigars, juice, and special items normally beyond his budget. Marerro’s grandson told YouWager’s source, “Thanks to this we can buy him peach juice, which is his favorite.” He said Marrero, who cannot hear well, or see well, still gets excited when he is listening to baseball games.
The man who threw against Ted Williams says all the batters were the same to him. “But I had more trouble with the lefties,” Marrero admitted to YouWager’s source.