If someone wants to make a ranking of the most colorful reporters who have paraded through the newspaper's newsroom over the course of eighty years Últimas Noticias, Félix Rafael García has to be in the Top 5, that is, among the top five.
The reader and the endings of the oldest data will wonder: Who is that? I don't know any Felix Rafael García and I worked for years at the Torre de la Prensa!
So, the clarification is valid here. It is about Rafael García, the popular Parapara, who for almost thirty years was part of the family of Últimas Noticias and between the mid-seventies and the beginning of the new millennium it became a real headache for his colleagues in the competition, due to the large amount of exclusive information, better known in journalistic slang as "tubazos" that he got tired of distributing at the baseball fountain.
From player to collaborator
Since the mid-1950s, after excelling in the minor categories in fields in western Caracas, Parapara stood out in various amateur clubs in the capital as shortstop and second baseman.
It was the time of the so-called "brownism". Then the players of the AA category were incorporated into the payrolls of ministries, state institutions and some private companies, but they did not work but played ball.
"I did not jump to the professional because at that time one could earn more money as an amateur, since there were not many possibilities to sign to play in the United States and in the league here they only paid for three months," recalls Garcia. “I was a good player; I made a combination with my compadre Remigio Hermoso, at the Urbanos club, I also played with Gonzalo Márquez and Carlos Martínez, the father of Café Martínez, who inherited his nickname and Rómulo, as well as the grandfather of Cafecito and Teodoro ”.
In 1956 he went to play in Mérida, encouraged by Miguel “Caribe” Sanabria, who was in charge of the Sports Direction of the University of Los Andes, and in 1957 he attended the national championship of the highest category with the selection of that entity. celebrated in San Cristóbal. At that event he met Vitico Davalillo, who assisted with the Zulia national team and from there he signed with the Caracas Lions.
After an internship of about five years in the Andean region, in the mid-sixties he returned to the Caracas ball and “burns the last cartridges” with the Intendencia, Venezuela and Aerovías teams, while beginning to collaborate with Raúl Hernández, head of the sports section of Últimas Noticias, leading to the writing the results of the matches of various categories that were held in the different fields of Catia and on January 23.
Spontaneous in Extra
Like those pigeons of matadors who throw themselves into the ring in the bullring, Parapara entered sports journalism in 1972, in the days when the sports newspaper Extra came into circulation to compete with the other specialized tabloid that had appeared in the year 1969.
There he began to handle the skills in the coverage of the fountain, first touring the minor baseball fields of the capital and then in professional ball, when Extra became an insert of Últimas Noticias which ended up becoming the Merry Body.
"There I came to the Major Leagues of sports journalism and I got tired of handing out 'tubazos' to my colleagues, yes, some very elegant tubazos," recalls the popular Parapara García.
Mantle and Foreman
Among the coverage that brings back great memories for Garcia is the preseason series between the Yankees and the White Sox, held in Caracas in March 1971, in which he met Mickey Mantle, an iconic outfielder for the New York club. It also evokes that he was assigned to follow George Foreman in the days prior to the fight for the heavyweight title that he defended against Ken Norton, on March 28, 1974, to officially inaugurate the Poliedro de Caracas.