Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Saturday, March 23, 2013

NY Times: “In Havana, Remembering a Minor League Championship”

No ordinary minor league team, the [Havana] Sugar Kings were the Cincinnati Reds’ International League Class AAA affiliate based in Havana for six and a half seasons in prerevolutionary Cuba. Though the team’s existence was brief, the Sugar Kings drew a strong following in Cuba and became a springboard for Latin American players. [...]

Fulgencio Batista, defeated by Castro’s rebels, fled the country Jan. 1, 1959. Revolutionary fever reached its peak at the Gran Estadio that year at midnight on July 26 - the Castro- and Che Guevara-led movement was celebrated on the July 26 anniversary of the rebels’ first attack - during a game against the Rochester Red Wings. Revelry included fireworks and gunfire, and stray bullets grazed two members of the teams.

The Red Wings’ third-base coach, Frank Verdi, was struck, as was Cardenas, the Sugar Kings’ shortstop. Neither was seriously injured, but the game and the series were canceled.

“It was an itchy time,” said [Cookie] Rojas, who played for the Sugar Kings in 1959 and 1960 and is now a broadcaster for the Miami Marlins. “You never really knew what was going to happen.”

The season, though, continued, and that fall, the Sugar Kings had their greatest success when they claimed the International League crown. They then faced the American Association champion Minneapolis Millers, a team that included Carl Yastrzemski, in what was known as the Little World Series. The seven-game series, played in Cuba because of the cold in Minnesota, was attended by Castro and won by the Sugar Kings in seven games.

bobm Posted: March 23, 2013 at 05:41 PM | 3 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cuba, minor leagues, reds

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Gamingboy Posted: March 24, 2013 at 12:21 PM (#4395247)
Frank Verdi getting hit by communist gunfire- one of the many colorful parts of the history of the Rochester Red Wings.


BTW, I sometimes wonder: If Cuba had remained capitalist and friendly to the USA, would Havana have gotten a team by now, or at least been a perpetual candidate that gets the occasional game from a team without a good following like San Juan does?
   2. Snowboy Posted: March 24, 2013 at 01:21 PM (#4395274)
BTW, I sometimes wonder: If Cuba had remained capitalist and friendly to the USA, would Havana have gotten a team by now, or at least been a perpetual candidate that gets the occasional game from a team without a good following like San Juan does?


I absolutely think the answer is yes, and it would have happened in the 1960s, during all the expansions and transfers of that period. By the time they put a team in Montreal, they would have already put a team in Havana. Cuba was already full of American money, and it is gorgeous and would have kept growing as an island destination, and they love baseball.
   3. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: March 25, 2013 at 09:03 AM (#4395670)
If Cuba had remained capitalist and friendly to the USA, would Havana have gotten a team by now

In my historical OOTP leagues, I usually expand/move a franchise to Havana by the 1950s. Castro gets killed by a foul ball, and the rest is history.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
HowardMegdal
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogTrevor Hoffman's Hall of Fame induction seems inevitable
(89 - 1:17am, Sep 03)
Last: Ray (RDP)

NewsblogExpanded Rosters Exacerbate Baseball’s Biggest Issue
(34 - 1:13am, Sep 03)
Last: Bhaakon

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 9-2-2014
(77 - 1:12am, Sep 03)
Last: Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim

NewsblogAdam Jones says he was joking about 'airport' comment at social media event
(25 - 12:51am, Sep 03)
Last: Esoteric

NewsblogGleeman: Twins ask fans which brand of luxury car they are
(19 - 12:49am, Sep 03)
Last: theboyqueen

NewsblogOT: Politics, September, 2014: ESPN honors Daily Worker sports editor Lester Rodney
(324 - 12:45am, Sep 03)
Last: greenback calls it soccer

NewsblogPassan: 10 Degrees: Cole Hamels' trade value might be Phillies' lone bright spot
(7 - 12:23am, Sep 03)
Last: Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play

NewsblogPhoto of the day: Bill Murray, indy league ticket-taker
(128 - 12:21am, Sep 03)
Last: The District Attorney

NewsblogThe indisputable selfishness of Derek Jeter
(39 - 11:38pm, Sep 02)
Last: Rob_Wood

NewsblogRule change means more players to choose from for postseason roster
(15 - 11:10pm, Sep 02)
Last: Pirate Joe

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1958 Discussion
(2 - 11:00pm, Sep 02)
Last: DL from MN

NewsblogAstros Fire Bo Porter
(62 - 10:50pm, Sep 02)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

NewsblogGiants to promote Brett Bochy
(2 - 10:24pm, Sep 02)
Last: JJ1986

NewsblogBrewers prospect plays every position, all in one game
(20 - 10:03pm, Sep 02)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogMets call up Dilson Herrera, have "talked about" d'Arnaud to LF
(52 - 10:01pm, Sep 02)
Last: The District Attorney

Page rendered in 0.1958 seconds
52 querie(s) executed