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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-30-2015

El Paso Herald, December 30, 1915:

Only the unwritten rule that bars negroes from major league participation has kept out of organized baseball one of Cuba’s most wonderful players—“Black” Gonzales.

Gonzales has an ear so finely attuned that the instant the bat hits the ball he can tell where it is going. Time and again he has been blindfolded and then called off the exact direction in which the drive is going. Very often he has fielded the ball while in an outfield position with his eyes covered.

Gonzales is a husky negro who is a wonder behind the bat, a grand outfielder and a terrific hitter. The major leaguers who have seen him in action say he hits the ball harder than any man other than Ed Delehanty [sic].

Also, he’s probably not a real person. According to Who’s Who in Cuban Baseball, 1878-1961, these are the contemporary Cuban Gonzalii: Papo Gonzalez, who eventually played for the Boston Red Sox. Gervasio Gonzalez, who was a heck of a player, but was a catcher. Mike Gonzalez, who both played and managed in the Major Leagues. Octavio Gonzalez, an infielder who spent 1914 in the Sally League. Primitivo Gonzalez, an outfielder who finished with zero career hits in the Cuban league. Ramon Gonzalez, an infielder who played eight seasons in US minor league baseball. And Valentin Gonzalez, an outfielder (check) who led the league in hits five times (check), but was light-skinned enough to have played in the South Atlantic League.

I’m pretty confident in asserting that Black Gonzalez is a fictional character. Am I missing an obvious candidate?

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 30, 2015 at 08:39 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban baseball, dugout, fiction, history, negro leagues

 

 

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