. . . Sports
The whole Club enthusiastically supported the "Caleteros" in swimming, baseball, football and many other sports and it was not only the athletes, but also those others that made it possible such as the coaches and directors of the Club.
In swimming, under coach Roque de Castro and later under Carlos de Cuba, we had very successful results. At first we had a swimming pool right on the ocean, where Lola La Puñales -- a barracuda -- would share it with the swimmers. Every afternoon the barracuda would come out from under the raft, swim across 25 meters, and then she would let us use the pool (our Coach, Carlos de Cubas, would use that explanation so the swimmers would get in the water without fear).
During what we called the Nortes (our winter) the coach would take the team to the swimming pool of another club, the Casino Español, where we were always welcomed, because our open-ocean pool was beaten by high seas. The trip to the Casino was by bus and this was also part of the fun.
Later on, when the new clubhouse was built, a 25-meters swimming pool was constructed at the Club. As we approached the first swimming meets -- "El Carnaval de Relevos" (the medley, which by the way we almost always won, I don't know if it was because we were good or because we had many swimmers) -- the swimmers were allowed to practice on Mondays even though the Club was closed. On this day we would swim 1,500 meters free style (60 laps). To break the monotony of this long and boring training the lap counter would tell jokes to the swimmers while they made the turns, and you could see the bubbles from their smiles in the water.
Baseball at MYC was written with a capital M. And the "M" was for Mako Pérez. In addition to being the symbol of baseball at MYC, Mako was the person who established the "Cubanitos", or what we in the U.S. call "Little League". With the support and sponsorship of Roberto "Bobby" Maduro, who owned the Cuban Sugar Kings team in the AAA league, Mako organized and implemented this youth league, which was starting to flourish just when things started to go wrong in Cuba with Castro's arrival.
Who doesn't remember Mako's "sanitary socks"? Do you remember Fifo and Capote, who took care of our equipment and uniforms?
Mako organized us into maginificent baseball teams, which competed in the Big Five in such age groups as children (under 15), juvenile (under 18) and adult, and where we often came away champions. Our success was due to fantastic pitchers, such as Maiko Miller, Laureano Pequeño, Salvador ("El Loco") Carniago, Alberto and Roberto ("Sagita", now deceased) Martínez and many more; solid catchers, such as "Chopón" Valcarcel, Manuel Antonio González Parra ("El 20", now deceased), "El Gallego" Rivero and Carlitos ("El Caguama") Armas. Infielders like Carlitos Cacicedo, Lesmito Ruíz, Manolo ("El Negro") de la Torre, Carlos ("Charles") González Parra, and José Luís del Río; powerful outfielders like Franz Arango; Lalito Fernández Planas, Mayín Padrón, Carlitos Pascual, Manuel ("Chichi") del Valle and many more.
Football had a more complex story. During the 1930s we had several teams, but for different reasons it was abandoned soon after. Then, in 1950, due to the enthusiasm of several members -- including Ernesto "Pecho de Tabla" (Wooden Chest) Martin -- the sport was reintegrated at the Club.
There were children's teams (under 13 and under 15 years of age), juvenile teams for teenager, and adult teams (those with less experience played in a Junior team and the better players in a Senior team). As in all other sports, our football teams played against other clubs (such as Vedado Tennis Club) and against entities such as Universidad de la Habana.
The MYC football teams had great success. We won many championships due to the personal efforts of players such as Franz and Tony Arango, Carlos and Manolo Cacicedo, Cuco and Zepelin Cosio, Trucutu Valdez, Gallego Lezama, Kiko Machin, Kiki Narganes, and many others too numerous to name.
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Swimming and Water Polo
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