¿Desde cuándo no agarras un rolling Remigio?

Mi papá conduce aquel viejo Dodge Dart color verde año 1976 que compró en Barquisimeto, cuando buscaba otro Dodge Dart que le habían robado en la Plaza Venezuela de Caracas. Íbamos por Nirgua, rumbo a la Academia de Rockies Colorado, que estaba vía Valencia, en unas instalaciones de la empresa Polar. Acostado en el asiento de atrás con Marco Antonio Solís cantando a todo pulmón, tenía 15 años y observaba una tarjeta del equipo de la Major League Baseball como algo muy preciado, algo que me acercaba al béisbol de las Grandes Ligas.

La tarjeta se la habían dado a mi papá en Barquisimeto, me vieron jugar y le recomendaron al viejo, contactar a quien estaba a cargo de la academia, en la tarjeta decía: Remigio Hermoso, con el logo de Colorado Rockies.

Cuando le dieron la tarjeta a mi papá, me habló de Remigio y me contó que un jugador llamado Don Baylor lo había sacado del juego tras una colisión en segunda base en la que salió con una de sus piernas fracturadas. Tenía el nativo de Puerto Cabello 29 años cuando Baylor – quien a la postre fue manager de Colorado – lo expulsó del béisbol.

Mido 1´75, no soy alto para el béisbol. Recuerdo cuando Remigio me vio por primera vez y me preguntó la edad.

—Tengo 15 años.

—Bueno. Dijo. Todavía puedes crecer un poco más.

—Si usted llegó, yo también puedo. Le contesté. Remigio sonrió.  

Lucía un uniforme de Colorado y aquello me impresionaba mucho, estaba cerca de un exgrandeliga, cerca de alguien que trabaja con el béisbol mayor. Hermoso llegó al béisbol mayor a los 19 años con el equipo de Bravos de Atlanta.

No me fue bien en aquel tryout. Remigio habló con mi papá y conmigo, recomendando que trabajara el físico (pesaba como 63 kilos) y que volviera en tres meses.

No volví a verlo hasta dentro de unos años cuando fui a Caracas, ya era periodista.

“La segunda base es una de las posiciones más subestimadas del béisbol” me dijo. Estábamos en el estadio Universitario. Le pregunté por Baylor y aquella colisión y dijo, “son cosas que pasan, ya está, mucho me han preguntado sobre eso y esto es lo que prefiero decir” para salirle el paso a aquel episodio lamentable de su vida.

Pero volvamos a la segunda base. “Mijo, tú ves la segunda base y forma parte de la columna vertebral del juego, es parte de esa famosa línea central que todo buen equipo debe tener, amaba defender esa base, era muy dinámica, tanto como el campocorto, era una adrenalina hacer el pivoteo cuando buscabas el dobleplay, debes tratar la pelota suavemente, como a una dama con delicadeza” me explicaba y me voy dando cuenta con su emoción, con sus gesos, que realmente sentía, disfrutaba aquello.

La última vez que lo vi, fue en el salón de la fama y Museo del béisbol venezolano, ubicado en Valencia, estado Carabobo. Fui en representación del lanzador Giovanni Carrara quien me pidió el favor que fuera en su nombre, ya que no pudo viajar a Venezuela desde Estados Unidos. Luego de la ceremonia y de develar la estatua icónica de cada exaltado, lo vi. Tenía un traje color ladrillo, enseguida fui a saludarlo, siempre risueño, bromista, expresivo, al menos así lo vi siempre y así lo recordaré. “Estar en este lugar es muy especial, te das cuenta de cuanta gloria, de cuanta historia, de nombres y hombres”

Remigio llegó a ese lugar en el 2015.

— “Remigio, ¿desde cuando no agarras un rolling?” le pregunté.

— “Coño muchacho tengo tiempo, pero eso no se olvida”. Me dijo mientras soltaba una carcajada y se ponía a mi lado luego de pedirle una foto.

Descansa en paz Remigio Hermoso.

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