Arnaldo Lorenzo Vargas, 90, of New Britain, Conn., passed away peacefully Monday, Aug. 5, 2019. Born in Santa Isabel de las Lajas, Cuba, on Sept. 5, 1928, he would become one of 13 siblings from the late Gustavo Vargas Gonzalez and the late Eleuteria Llanes Morales. Arnaldo played professional baseball in the Sugar-Mill league in Cuba. He was very good friends of Martin Dihigo and Manuel “Cocaina” Garcia, both distinguished and outstanding Hall of Famers of Cuba and the Negro League. Arnaldo played with major leaguers such as Roman Mejias and Jose “The Train” Tartabull. He was also cousin to Cookie Rojas of the Kansas City Royals. Arnaldo “La Rata” Vargas, as he was called, earned his fame throughout central Cuba pitching successfully against such major league players of that time, such as Orestes “Minnie” Minoso and Joe Azcue. The Washington Senators offered a contract to start in their minor league system for $125.00 a month; instead, he chose to earn better wages and came to New Britain, Conn., known as the “Hardware City” at that time. Arnaldo would meet the love of his life of 43 years, the late Huga Santos Cruz. He worked in several factories such as Landers, Corbin, and as they closed, retired from Fafnir Bearing in 1990. Arnaldo also retired playing hardball in 1993 ending with a .269 batting average. He was the only honorary Cuban member of the Puerto Rican Society Club where he enjoyed spending his weekends doing his other favorite hobby, playing dominoes. Arnaldo played very well with much passion as his 75-plus trophies would attest.
Arnaldo is survived by his son, Arnaldo L. Vargas, Jr. of New Britain, Conn., his daughter, Mayra Dube and her husband, John of Southington, Conn., his three sisters, Silvia Gertrudis Gonzalez Vargas of Long Island, Gloria Vargas Llanes of the Canary Islands, and Maria Herlinda Vargas Llanes of Florida, his granddaughter, Darian Dube of Southington, Conn., his grandson, Eric A. Vargas, his nephew, Edward Vargas, and sister-in-law, Zunilda Vargas all of New Britain, Conn., and sister-in-law, Zenaida Vargas of California.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Liturgy of Christian Burial at 10 a.m., Friday, Aug. 9, at St. Joachim Parish Church of Saint Mary Church, 544 Main St., New Britain, Conn. Committal service and final resting place will be in St. Mary Cemetery, 1141 Stanley St., New Britain, Conn. Service of Comfort and Compassion provided by the Paul A. Shaker Funeral Home, 764 Farmington Ave., New Britain, Conn. To extend condolences to the Vargas family or to share a memory of Arnaldo, please visit SHAKERFUNERAL HOME.COM.