Jose Antonio "Tony" Zardon Sanchez
5/20/1922 to 3/21/2017
Place of Birth: Havana, Cuba
Beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend Tony, peacefully passed from this earth at his home to be with the Lord. Tony was truly a dazzling candle who touched everyone's life wick and lighted their lives. All that knew him will always remember how he instantly brought a smile to their face with his infectious humor and loving nature.
Tony was always proud of his professional baseball career. He began playing the sport he loved in the Jesus del Monte neighborhood of Havana, Cuba and was later discovered and signed by the Washington Senator's Joe Cambria. He went on to a successful 12 year professional baseball career that found him playing in various locales including; Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela and the United States. He made it to the major leagues in 1945 as a member of the Senators.
Tony, also known as Guineo (a fast running bird common in Cuba) had several highlights during his baseball career. His first stop in the U.S. was with the Williamsport Grays where he showed off his speed by stealing 38 bases in 99 games. He is remembered by many having played for the Havana Cubans of the Florida International League, a team he starred with for five seasons and that won five pennants, and two league championships. He is the all-time FIL leader in at-bats and stolen bases. As a member of the Cubans on August 31, 1949, when Miami Stadium celebrated its grand opening game, Tony was the first batter. He also participated in the Cuban winter leagues spending time with Cienfuegos, Havana, Marianao and Oriente where he got a chance to play for baseball legends Mike Gonzalez and Adolfo Luque.
After baseball Tony worked at several different jobs including a driver with McArthur Dairy, operating his own taxi cab company, opened a restaurant and worked as a supervisor at Miami Jai-Alai.
Tony had a deep love for his native Cuba and the U.S. and was a proud Bay of Pigs survivor. His wife Marlene's fondest memory of Tony was his spirit of service and his singing of praises to the Lord all the time. He may have sung off key, but he was full of love of Jesus.
In his later life Tony enjoyed going to church, praising God, and spending time with and watching his grandchildren grow up. Last, but not least, he loved to talk baseball and share stories about his friends and family always with a smile on his face.
He was preceded in death by his sister Hilda Pereyra and son Jose Zardon Jr. He is survived by his devoted wife of 39 years, Marlene Saumell-Zardon, children Cecilia Zardon-Zumeta, Jacqueline Canela, Eileen Escarda, Marlene Yeager, and Ronald E. Escarda, and 13 grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to "4 Kids Ministry at Calvary".
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