By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
Former Industriales de La Habana pitching coach Kaleeb Nelson Campo Godinez will manage host nation Chile for the 2023 Pan American Games, Cubalite.com news website reported on Monday.
Godinez, 49, was born in Havana, Cuba, and has coached the Chilean national team since May 20, 2022.
Cubalite.com reported that “the Federación de Béisbol y Softbol de Chile reported that Havana native Godinez came to Chile thanks to the Olympic Plan and his main objective was to focus on collaborating in preparation for the senior national team for the 2023 Pan American Games.”
Godinez helped Chile win the IV Festival Deportivo Internacional de Béisbol Guatemala 2022 last August. A Caribbean selected team called Caribbean Power, the El Salvador national team, and the Guatemalan national team also participated in the event. This event did not provide World Baseball Rankings points.
According to Cubalite.com, “Godinez worked from 2007-09 in the region of Apure in Maracaibo, Venezuela, with academy sectors in that region that had connections with teams in Liga Venezolana de Beisbol Profesional, and with Aguilas de Zulia being the closest team in that area, alongside working in Italy with Legnano Softball Baseball ASD Serie A2 right outside of Milan with director and coaching positions before receiving the opportunity to be with the Chilean National Team.”
Godinez played three seasons in Cuba’s Serie Nacional with Metropolitanos de La Habana in 1993-94 and 1994-95 along with Industriales during the 1997-98 winter league seasons.
He was 2-1 during his playing career and recorded a 5.09 ERA with 17 appearances, throwing 17.2 innings and allowing 20 hits, 10 earned runs, 12 walks, and struck out six batters.
During the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons in Serie Nacional, Godinez was the pitching coach under former Cuban baseball outfielder legend and former Industriales manager Javier Mendez.
Mendez won seven gold medals with the Cuban national team during his career at the 1990 and 1998 Central American and Caribbean Games, the 1990 and 1998 Baseball World Cup, the 1999 and 2003 Pan American Games, and the 1990 Goodwill Games, alongside winning silver at the 2000 Olympics.
The Chile national team will participate in the 2023 Pan American Games for the first time in their nation’s history.
Chile is not ranked in the World Baseball Rankings and has not been since December 31, 2021.
The roster for the Chilean national team will be built with players that play in their federation professional league from FECHIBEIS and that have recently participated in age group and international senior events.
Chile has celebrated 106 years of baseball in their country and for the first time the nation will have their national team participate in an international senior event.
According to the World Baseball Softball Confederation website, “U.S. Mining companies introduced baseball in northern Chile at the beginning of the 20th century, particularly in Antofagasta and Iquique. Tocopilla, in the Antofagasta area, hosted the electric generator that served the copper mines and happened to be the location American workers chose for the first baseball game on the country’s soil, which took place on 4 July 1917. Chile’s first baseball association was established in 1951, in Iquique, with Antofagasta, Arica and Tocopilla following. Chile’s national baseball and softball governing body was born on 26 April 1954. Nine districts have now organized baseball in Chile: Arica, Iquique, Alto Hospicio, Tocopilla, Antofagasta, La Serena, San Antonio and Santiago.”
The Pan American Games will have a total of eight nations in the baseball event, including No. 3 Mexico, No. 6 Venezuela, No. 8 Cuba, No. 9 Dominican Republic, No. 11 Panama, No. 15 Colombia, and No. 23 Brazil.
Group A will have Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Panama, and host nation Chile. Group B will have Venezuela, Cuba, Colombia, and Brazil.
Following the group stage will be the Super Round, which will be played October 25-27. The bronze medal game and gold medal game of the 2023 Pan American Games will be played on October 28.
Venezuela has the highest World Baseball Ranking in Group B after winning the bronze medal at the 2023 Central American and Caribbean Games.
Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Cuba all qualified for the 2023 Pan American Games by their performance at the 2023 Central American and Caribbean Games this past summer in San Salvador, El Salvador.
Panama qualified for the Pan American Qualifiers in June in Buenos Aires, Argentina, when they beat host nation Argentina in the final qualifier game 9-3.
Brazil qualified in July 2022 for the 2023 Pan American Games, beating Argentina 2-0 in the 2022 South American Baseball Championship in Lima, Peru.
Colombia qualified for the 2023 Pan American Games in December 2021 at the Junior Pan American Games in Barranquilla, Colombia, beating the Dominican Republic in the gold medal game 6-3.
The last Pan American Games was held in 2019 in Lima, Peru when Puerto Rico beat Canada in the gold medal game 6-1.
The 2023 Pan American Games will be the last senior event of the international baseball calendar year from the WBSC Americas sector prior to the rankings being released on December 31, 2023.
All listed streaming updates of the 2023 Pan American Games will be provided on the WBSC Americas social media pages and website.
2023 Pan American Games Pool Round Schedule
All times are listed Eastern Daylight Time
Wednesday October 18, 2023
8:30 a.m. EDT – Mexico vs. Chile
Saturday October 21, 2023
2 p.m. EDT – Chile vs. Panama
Monday October 23, 2023
2 p.m. EDT – Chile vs. Dominican Republic