Little League® International remembers César L. Faz, Manager of the Industrial Little League team from Monterrey, Mexico, which became the first team from outside of the United States to win the Little League Baseball® World Series (LLBWS) Championship. He was 98.
“César lived a long life and gave most of it to developing young baseball players…he will be sadly missed,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League International President and CEO.
Mr. Faz was born in San Antonio and moved to Monterrey as an adult. His experiences in baseball were many, including time as batboy and clubhouse attendant for the San Antonio Missions baseball team.
As a Little League volunteer manager, he coached Industrial Little League to consecutive Little League Baseball World Series titles in 1957 and 1958.
During the historic summer of 1957, Mr. Faz’s Monterrey Industrial Little League team, lacked money and resources on its way to Williamsport, Pa., yet continued to rack up wins. In the early years of the Little League International Tournament, Mexico did not have direct entry into the LLBWS, so the team had to play through the Texas State Championship followed by the Southern Regional Championship.
What started with expectations of only playing one game in McAllen, Texas, turned into 12-straight wins for Monterrey Industrial Little League en route to that year’s World Championship Game. At the time, the tournament format eliminated a team with one loss at any time from the district-level tournament through the World Series.
On the 60th anniversary of the team’s improbable World Series title game victory and the perfect game that capped the amazing summer, pitcher Angel Macias, who threw the only perfect in LLBWS title game history, was enshrined into the Little League International Hall of Excellence (HOE). Mr. Macias joined teammate José Maiz Garcia as HOE enshrinees.
“In the championship, I was concentrating so much on trying to win that I did not realize that I was pitching a perfect game,” said Mr. Macias said in a previous interview. “At the end of the game, I remember most of all César Faz and Pepe González celebrating the triumph with us. That was the most important thing.”
The tenacity and determination of Mr. Faz’s charges earned the players a fitting nickname – “Los Pequeños Gigante” or “The Little Giants” – because each member of the 1957 team was smaller and about 30 pounds lighter than most of their opponents. Soon after achieving international attention, a movie of the same name was released featuring the actual players. Five decades later (2008) a re-make called “The Perfect Game” again put Mr. Faz’s team in the spotlight.
Mr. Faz remained close with players he coached throughout his lifetime.