|Tiburones de La Guaira|
|League||Venezuelan Professional Baseball League|
|Ballpark||Estadio Fórum La Guaira|
|League championships||1964-1965, 1965-1966, 1968-1969, 1970-1971, 1982-1983, 1984-1985, 1985-1986|
The Tiburones de La Guaira (English: La Guaira Sharks) are a baseball team in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League. Based in the city of La Guaira, they play their home games in Estadio Fórum La Guaira and have won seven national championships since their founding in 1962.
In 1962 the Licoreros de Pampero team, which was founded in 1955, was sold for the symbolic price of one Bolívar by his owner Alejandro Hernández to José Antonio Casanova, who was considered the greatest Venezuelan manager at the time. The new team changed its name to Tiburones de la Guaira.
Casanova, who was also the first manager of the team, did not have enough financial resources to go through an entire season. He then talked to his friend, Dr. Jesús Morales Valarino, who suggested an alliance with an important group of personalities and traders such as Manuel Malpica, Jose Antonio Diaz, Mario Gomez y Pablo Diaz. In that moment Tiburones de la Guaira was born, taking the field for first time ever in the 1962–1963 season. It was Morales' idea to take the team to the city of La Guaira, in order to take advantage of a city with no team yet numerous baseball fans.
In their first season, the Tiburones finished with a 23–19 record, missing the finals disputed between the Leones del Caracas and Industriales de Valencia. The team struggled in 1963–1964, ending third with a 23–27 record, being locked out of contention. La Guaira club would have to wait until its third season to win the first league championship, in a five-game confrontation against the Leones.
La Guaira was managed by Casanova until that year, and had remarkable players such as MLB Hall of Famers Luis Aparicio and Rollie Fingers, and Ángel Bravo, José Herrera and Elio Chacón as top Venezuelan figures. Casanova's contract expired in 1965 and the board of directors decided to finish the work relationship buying all his stock. Then Pedro Padrón Panza, who was among the original founders, bought all the stock to become the single owner.
At the time, Padrón worked hard to settle an important base of players which was later known as "La Guerrilla", because –no matter the score of a game– they were a never-surrender bunch of players who gave all to the cause. Some notable names includes the likes of Ozzie Guillén, Carlos Martinez, Gustavo Polidor, Luis Salazar and Luis Mercedes Sánchez, among others.
Padrón suffered a long illness starting in the early 1990s, which affected the level of his beloved team as well. He died in 1999, aged 78, leaving the control of the franchise to his son, Pedro Padrón Briñez, also known as "Peruchito". Nevertheless, Padrón Jr. and his son died in the 1999 Vargas tragedy that killed tens of thousands of people.
Marked by the death of three generations –past, present and future– of the team, the Tiburones tried to repeat their glorious performances of the 1970s and 1980s in the 2000–2001 season under manager and former player Luis Salazar, almost clinching a playoff spot. Since then, the Tiburones has become a competitive force again in the Venezuela league, missing the final series by taking a loss in an extra game in the 2008–2009 season against the Tigres de Aragua, and reaching the final series in 2011–2012, which they end up losing again to Aragua in six games.
|1971||2||4||.333||4||2nd place||Triple tie|
Runs batted in
|1964–1965||Darold Knowles *||13|
|1966–1967||Gene Brabender **||13|
|1967–1968||Eddie Watt ***||12|
* Tied with Lew Krausse Jr. (Caracas)
** Tied with Jim McGlothlin (Valencia)
*** Tied with Diego Seguí (Caracas)
Earned run average
|Tiburones de La Guaira 2020-21 Roster|
updated on 8 June 2021
(Coaching staff for 2021–22 season)
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