José Antonio Casanova

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José Antonio Casanova
Shortstop/Manager
Born: February 18, 1918
Maracaibo, Zulia, Venezuela
Died: July 8, 1999 (aged 81)
Maracay, Aragua, Venezuela
Batted: Right Threw: Right
Teams
As Player

As Manager

Cervecería Caracas (1946–1951)
Leones del Caracas (1954)
Licoreros de Pampero (1959–1961)
Tiburones de la Guaira (1962–1964)
Tigres de Aragua (1965–1966)
Career highlights and awards
Individual (2003)
1941 AWS Champion Team (2006)
1959 PanAm Games Champion Team (2015)

José Antonio Casanova (February 18, 1918 – July 8, 1999) was a shortstop and manager in Venezuelan baseball. He batted and threw right handed.[1]

Born in Maracaibo, Zulia, Casanova is regarded as the most successful manager in Venezuelan baseball history. A five-time championship manager, he also led his teams to several international titles in a career that spanned more than three decades.[1]

Casanova started his professional career in unaffiliated Venezuelan first division league in 1937, playing for the Centauros, Vencedor, Cardenales and Cervecería clubs, managing also Cervecería to a title in 1943, before joining the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League in its inaugural season of 1946.[2]

During this stint he also played for the Venezuela national baseball team that captured the 1941 Amateur World Series championship in Havana, in which he won the AWS Most Valuable Player honors.

He then launched a fruitful managing career in the VPBL through the 1966 season, winning four titles with the Cervecería Caracas (1947–1948), Leones del Caracas (1952) and Tiburones de la Guaira (1964).[1] Overall, he posted a 436–402 record for a .520 winning percentage.[3]

In addition, he guided the Venezuelan team that clinched championships in the Baseball World Cup in 1944 and 1945,[1] as well as the team that won gold medal at the 1959 Pan American Games held in Chicago.[1] Besides this, he served as manager for the Venezuelan Military Academy team during 29 years.[4] A baseball park in Caracas is named after him.[1]

In 2003, José Antonio Casanova was enshrined into the Venezuelan Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum as part of their first class. He was inducted as well in the Hall in 2006, when the entire 1941 AWS Champion Team was honored. Then, in 2015 he earned a third induction when the 1959 PanAm Games Champion Team was enshrined.[1]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Salón de la Fama del Béisbol de Venezuela". Archived from the original on 2013-12-13. (Spanish)
  2. ^ Gutiérrez F., Daniel; Álvarez, Efraim; Gutiérrez G., Daniel. Enciclopedia del Béisbol en Venezuela (2006). Liga Venezolana de Béisbol Profesional. ISBN 980-6996-02-X
  3. ^ Enciclopedia del Béisbol en Venezuela
  4. ^ Baseball Reference bullpen – José Casanova biography