Urbano González Basanta
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 5' 8", Weight 175 lb.
Second baseman Urbano González was an early star of the Cuban Serie Nacional.
González was 4 for 11 for the Cuban national team that finished a disappointing 4th. In the 1961 Amateur World Series, he hit .250 for the Gold Medalists. When the Serie Nacional was formed, the little left-handed batter quickly was setting records - on February 15, he had the new league's first five-hit and four-run game. The Occidentales star was the league leader in 1962, the inaugural season, in runs (19) and hits (40).
Urbano hit .417 for Cuba in the 1962 Central American and Caribbean Games, when they tied for 4th. In the 1962-1963 Serie Nacional, he played for the Industriales and tied Tomás Soto for the lead with three sacrifice flies. He helped lead Cuba to a Gold at the 1963 Pan American Games, leading all players with a .485 average and 16 hits.
The singles specialist hit .359 to lead the Serie Nacional in 1964-1965; he also paced the loop with 56 hits and won the Serie Nacional Most Valuable Player. He was the first second baseman to win that honor (no other second baseman has done so through 2015) and the first of many Industriales players to claim it. He also led in hits with 76 in 1965-1966.
The 27-year-old hit .276 for Cuba as they claimed Gold in the 1966 Central American and Caribbean Games and .278 when they only had the Silver in the 1967 Pan American Games. He scored Cuba's only run against Ray Blosse in their 2-1 loss in the Gold Medal game, reaching on one error by Team USA's Steve Sogge and scoring on another Sogge error. From March 24, 1968 to February 8, 1969, he went 217 straight plate appearances and 190 at-bats without striking out, before Manuel Hurtado whiffed him. Both numbers are Serie Nacional records.
He batted .304 for the Gold Medal winners in the 1970 Central American and Caribbean Games and showed some rare pop, as his two homers tied Fermín Laffita for the tournament lead. He hit .296 in the 1970 Amateur World Series and Cuba claimed the Gold. By the 1971 Amateur World Series, Urbano was a bench player, going 3 for 11 as Cuba won another Gold. He was 3 for 7 when Cuba won the 1971 Pan American Games. He thus became Cuba's first four-time Pan American Games player. His final appearance on the international stage was in the 1972 Amateur World Series, when he hit .316 for a Gold Medal.
Overall, he hit .311 in 296 at-bats in international competition and .277/.339/.342 in 754 games in the Serie Nacional (playing in a pitcher-friendly era). He scored 317 runs and drove in 320 in Cuba and only struck out every 42.75 at-bats, the lowest rate in league annals. He did not hit with much power (18 HR in 13 seasons) or steal much (14 SB, 11 CS). He fielded .953.