By Mike Steffanos
We had some discussion on this site about Orlando Hernandez after his impressive win over the Giants last week. Eduardo S. Fernandez left a comment with a link to a terrific story on Hernandez by Doug Padilla of the Chicago Sun-Times in January of 2005. Among other things, we learn that there was an El Duque, Sr., and read details of El Duque's escape from Cuba.
Eduardo's comment is quoted below:
DD's comments on "El Duque" are right on the money. He was larger than life in Cuba. I am a native Cuban and follow that countries baseball as well as I can from this distance. He was among the best of the best from that island nation. The problem would be that he was probably not even the best in his family. See "El Duque" Is actually "El Duque Jr". His father was the original "El Duque" and quite possibly the best Cuban pitcher to ever walk onto a pitching mound!
Here is a link to an article that might give people a little more appreciation what people like "El Duque" go through to live their lives with a larger degree of freedom. And a paragraph on his father the "Real" "El Duque" at the end. Luckily I came here in a plane in 1961 after the revolution!