Any other offseason, Henderson Alvarez joining his winter ball team in his native Venezuela might have generated at best moderate fanfare. This wasn't a typical offseason.
Alvarez did not anticipate the reception he received in December, when he put on the La Guaira uniform for the first time. That's what happens when you culminate your major league season with a no-hitter.
"When I got to the stadium the first day the press got a hold of me and it was all about the no-hitter," said Alvarez, who on Sept. 29 against the Tigers became the sixth Venezuelan-born pitcher to accomplish the feat. "All my teammates congratulated me, the fans…It was a great day for me."
Fans mobbed him to sign ticket stubs. The Marlins green-lighted Alvarez's request to play winter ball since he barely topped the 100-inning mark last season. A shoulder issue kept Alvarez sidelined until July 4.
Cleared to pitch a minimum of 30 innings, Alvarez totaled 23 over five starts before La Guaira was eliminated fr...