Photo: Norge Luis Vera
Cuban baseball great Norge Luis Vera, one of the best pitchers in the island’s history, has been hospitalized in “very serious” condition after a traffic accident two days ago, official media reported Saturday.
Vera, 40, reportely is fighting for his life although his vital signs are stable, state television said, without providing details on the accident.
The pitcher, who officially announced his retirement from the sport in September, suffered severe cranioencephalic trauma and multiple fractures in Thursday’s car crash and is in intensive care at the Provincial Hospital in the southeastern city of Santiago de Cuba, according to the report.
In December 2009, Vera underwent reconstructive facial surgery at a Havana hospital after he was seriously injured while trying to break up a fight in Santiago de Cuba, where he lives.
The star pitcher won a gold medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney and a silver medal in Athens four years later and also was a member of Cuba’s national team in several other international competitions.
Vera also played in Cuba’s national baseball league for nearly 20 seasons.
He put up impressive numbers in the 2nd edition of the World Baseball Classic in 2009, posting a record of 2-0 with an ERA of 1.69.
The pitcher first garnered international attention in 1999, when he worked seven innings and retired 20 of first 22 batters he faced during an exhibition game between the Cuban national team and the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.