República Bolivariana de Venezuela

Photo of Venezuela's first team, the Caracas Base Ball Club, 1895

The Vargas club of 1948-49, featuring legendary shortstop Luis Aparicio Sr. (second from right), father of Luis Aparicio Jr.

The "Heroes of '41," having beaten Cuba in the World Amateur Baseball Tournament, helped launch Venezuelan baseball.

Since 1942, the rivalry between Navegantes del Magallanes (Magellan Navigators) and Caracas Leones (Lions) has grown into one of the most heated in all of baseball. Despite numerous changes in Venezuelan baseball, the endurance of this rivalry is a remarkable testament to the Venezuelan love for the game.

Jersey from the Navegantes del Magallanes, 2004-05

One factor in the developing Caracas-Magallanes rivalry was social. While both were originally located in Caracas, the Caracas club was the favorite of the city's middle and upper classes, while Magallanes was favored by the working classes. Since then, Magallanes has moved to Valencia, but the intense rivalry remains undiminished.

Caps from Leones de Caracas, 2008

Booklet outlining the history of the Caracas-Magallanes rivalry

Baseball cards of players on their Venezuelan Winter League teams, 1996-97