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. What's the realistic upside, RMc? 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
Jim Wisinski
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogThe Yankees’ plan in case A-Rod can’t play at all
(21 - 6:19pm, Dec 21)
Last: Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat

NewsblogOT: Soccer December 2014
(339 - 6:19pm, Dec 21)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogMarty Noble's HOF Ballot
(38 - 6:18pm, Dec 21)
Last: BDC

NewsblogOT: Politics - December 2014: Baseball & Politics Collide in New Thriller
(5198 - 6:12pm, Dec 21)
Last: BDC

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(9204 - 6:12pm, Dec 21)
Last: stanmvp48

NewsblogThe Jeff Jacobs HOF Ballot: Keep The Voting Serious And Fair
(50 - 6:11pm, Dec 21)
Last: Booey

NewsblogDetermining Hall vote is no easy task | New York Post
(19 - 6:01pm, Dec 21)
Last: Rob_Wood

NewsblogGetting ready to gamble on Jung-Ho Kang | FOX Sports
(7 - 6:01pm, Dec 21)
Last: Steve Parris, Je t'aime

NewsblogGiants acquire McGehee to fill third-base spot
(6 - 5:59pm, Dec 21)
Last: Zach

NewsblogSchool of Roch: Wieters on his rehab and opening day
(1 - 5:51pm, Dec 21)
Last: NattyBoh

NewsblogAngels, Red Sox discontinue pension plans for non-uniformed personnel - LA Times
(24 - 5:47pm, Dec 21)
Last: NattyBoh

NewsblogThe 2015 HOF Ballot Collecting Gizmo!
(171 - 5:28pm, Dec 21)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogJUNICHI TAZAWA & CULTURE OF DENIAL
(3 - 5:19pm, Dec 21)
Last: vortex of dissipation

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - December 2014
(768 - 5:19pm, Dec 21)
Last: PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth)

NewsblogRuben Amaro Jr. says it would be best if Phillies move on from Ryan Howard
(44 - 4:02pm, Dec 21)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

Page rendered in 0.1625 seconds
48 querie(s) executed