Exiquio Echarte Jesus Leyva is one of the three Cubans inducted into the Hall of Fame of the International Softball Federation. The Ciego de Avila former star played for more than 20 years in the national team in the sport achieving important foreign results.
Echarte, one of the greatest exponents of softball in the island, is part of the golden generation of the discipline in Cuba. And during his long career, which ended in 2005 with his retirement from active sports, he collected numerous important trophies as three titles and silver in the Central American and Caribbean Games, four bronze medals in Pan American games, plus a respectable fourth seat in the Cup World and a bronze in World Championships.
In nine of these events Echarte was part of the All-Star as first baseman, and repeatedly led offensive by averaging over .350, all of which speaks clearly of his high quality as an athlete and justifies with ample reasons receiving this award.
The Cuban player, who deserved the ring accrediting him as a member of the select group of players for their quality and contribution to the discipline are inducted each year, told media in his native province that this award does not mean the end, but an incentive to continue working with new players.
Currently Chuchi, as he is nicknamed, has under his command the provincial team of Ciego de Avila, the national champions.
The first baseman of Cuba teams during the decades of the ’80s and ’90s of the last century joins the exceptional softball player Maria Luisa Medina, who for more than two decades joined the national team also serving as regular catcher.
To complete the trio of winners, was also recognized by the international body is Mr. Miguel Acosta, president of the Cuban Federation of Softball, and who has his place in the Hall of Fame as officer.
Pierre de Coubertin in Ciego de Avila lands
Another unprecedented event was for those born in Ciego de Ávila, when for the first time in Cuba the International Olympic Committee (IOC) awarded the sports activist Joaquin Pulgarón Rodriguez the Baron de Coubertin medal.
The recognition, awarded by the IOC on the 150th anniversary of its foundation in the category “Sport as a school of life,” went to who for decades has dedicated his life to promote sports practices within his locality.
In 1965 Pulgarón set up residence in the town of Vicente, site that now, and thanks to his ongoing work, has the status of national reference sports center with 15 operating facilities.
This figure may be negligible for many if not know the problems faced during the 90s and shortages of materials the Cuban sports movement in communities has. Add to this the characteristics of the country towns on the island and then you can understand how the IOC came to lay eyes on a simple man like this man.