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One of the pleasures of the series, though, is watching stars in the making, like Andujar Cedeno of the Dominican Republic's Licey Tigers. Although Cedeno played a stylish third base for the Tigers, he is a prospective shortstop for the Houston Astros this season. And he is not related to either Cesar Cedeno or Joaquin Andujar. Says Andujar Cedeno, "People ask me, of course, since I have the names of two famous ballplayers, but it's purely coincidental."
Cedeno's .333 batting average helped Licey win the series. In doing so, the Tigers exhibited a cruelty to animals, mauling the Santurce Crabs, the Tijuana Ponies and the Lara Cardinals by a total score of 50-8.
The Dominican fans were naturally delighted with the results, and so were the series organizers. The average attendance for the eight days was 5,175, which was very good considering that the break-even point was 4,500. There have been encouraging signs that winter baseball, near extinction not long ago, is on the rebound. WinterBall I was still another sign.
Ron Bunofsky was playing cards with his housemates in Morgantown, W.Va., at 4:30 a.m. recently when he looked out the window and saw that the house across the street was on fire. Bunofsky, a redshirt freshman guard for the West Virginia football team, ran across the street to the burning building. "A couple of students who lived there came out the front door," said the 6'4", 255-pound Bunofsky. "They started yelling for their other roommate to wake up."
The roommate, Ernie Wallace, woke up and came to his third-floor window. "Smoke was coming out, and he was coughing," said Bunofsky. "I told him to wait there, that we'd all get together and catch him. But he misunderstood and jumped right then. He bumped into the side of the house a couple of times on his way down, so he was coming head first. I tried to get my arms under him and braced." The 150-pound Wallace landed in Bunofsky's arms, and they both tumbled to the ground.
Except for a minor case of smoke inhalation and some bruises, Wallace was fine. And Bunofsky was particularly excited. "I was a tight end my first year before they made me a guard. I started wondering if maybe they might switch me back now."