Former MLB Closer Ugueth Urbina Pitches in Venezuela for First Time Since Leaving Prison

ugueth-urbinaWhat a long, strange road it’s been for Ugueth Urbina.

The Venezuelan right-hander has spent the last six years in prison after being convicted of a 2005 attack where he assaulted workers at his Caracas ranch with a machete and attempted to light them on fire with gasoline. He was given a 14-year sentence but was released in December of 2012. Not even a year later, Urbina is pitching again.

Urbina pitched a scoreless sixth inning for the Venezuela’s Caracas Lions on Wednesday, striking out one and walking another, Hardball Talk reports. Urbina’s last professional appearance came in 2005 with the Philadelphia Phillies. Urbina reached the 40-save plateau twice in his 10-year MLB career and had 71 strikeouts in 60 innings for the Red Sox in 2002.

Urbina will turn 40 in February, making the prospect of a major league comeback extremely dim, though some reports have Urbina still able to deliver a fastball in the 90s.

The shocking turn his career took in 2005 came only a year after Urbina’s mother was reportedly¬†kidnapped and ransomed by Venezuelan and Colombian drug runners.

Ironically, Urbina’s debut for the Caracas Lions proves that his native Venezuela, once the source of so many distractions from his major league career, is now the only hope for its revival.

Photo via Twitter/@UNdeportes

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