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Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame

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Subject: Cool Papa Bell, List of halls and walks of fame, Martín Dihigo, Dolf Luque, Cristóbal Torriente, Camilo Pascual, Mike González (catcher), José Méndez, Alejandro Oms, Al Cabrera
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Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame

Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame
Established 1939
Location Estadio Latinoamericano, Havana
Number of inductees 68

The Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame (Salón de la Fama del Béisbol Cubano) is a hall of fame that honors eminent baseball players from the pre-revolution Cuban League.[1] Established in 1939, by 1961 it had honored 68 players whose names are shown on a marble plaque at Havana's Estadio Latinoamericano. With the discontinuation of professional baseball in Cuba in 1961 and its replacement by the amateur Cuban national baseball system, election of new members in Cuba ceased.

History

The Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame was established by the DGND (Dirección General Nacional de Deportes), a government agency supervising sports activities in Cuba.[2] The hall was inaugurated on July 26, 1939—about six weeks after the June 12 dedication and opening of the U.S. National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown—by placing a bronze plaque at Havana's La Tropical Stadium.[3] The first ten inductees were selected by former and current baseball writers and the DGND's baseball advisers (asesores de baseball). The inaugural class included 19th-century Cuban stars (Antonio María García, Valentín González, Adolfo Luján, and Carlos Royer), black players who had achieved success in the U.S. Negro leagues (Luis Bustamante, José de la Caridad Méndez, Gervasio González, and Cristóbal Torriente), and white players who had played Major League Baseball (Rafael Almeida and Armando Marsans).[4] Méndez and Torriente, along with later inductee Martín Dihigo, subsequently were also recognized by the U.S. Hall of Fame.[5]

The bronze plaque was subsequently replaced by a marble plaque that hangs on a wall "in a poorly lit corner" of Havana's Estadio Latinoamericano.[6] Before listing the names of the inductees, the introductory section of the plaque reads,

Cuban Professional Baseball Hall of Fame
List of players that have been selected as
BASEBALL IMMORTALS
And have deserved this just recognition for their distinguished work
maintaining an undying memory of what they were in this
sport[6]

While all of the inductees were recognized as baseball players, in several cases their distinction reflected, at least in part, accomplishments achieved after their playing careers. For example, Emilio Sabourín, Agustín Molina, and José Rodríguez were long-time managers who won championships, as also were more celebrated players such as Dihigo, Miguel Angel González, Adolfo Luque, and Marsans.[7] Francisco A. Poyo and Eustaquio Gutiérrez served as umpires.[8] Carlos Zaldo, Eugenio Jiménez, and Molina entered the business side of baseball as stadium developer, promoter, and league administrator.[9] Wenceslao Gálvez wrote a history of baseball in Cuba, published in 1889, which according to Roberto González Echevarría "may very well be the first history of the game ever written anywhere."[10]

Other inductees achieved distinction outside of baseball. For example, Juan Antiga, who played in the Cuban League for just two seasons prior to completing medical school, became a notable intellectual, homeopath, government official, and diplomat, serving as ambassador to Switzerland and delegate to the League of Nations.[11] The type of post-playing distinction most often recognized by the hall, however, is military service, especially during the Cuban War of Independence that was fought from 1895 to 1898. Alfredo Arango, Eduardo Machado, and Carlos Maciá served as officers in the Cuban revolutionary army and Sabourín, Juan Manuel Pastoriza, and Ricardo Cabaleiro died in the conflict.[12]

In the 20th century, opportunities to play in the United States became increasingly important to Cuban players. Some of the earliest opportunities to play in the U.S. came in nearby Key West beginning about 1890. Key West had an independent baseball league with considerable participation by Cuban emigrants, and Cuban League players were recruited to play there during the off season. Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame inductees Molina and Poyo began their baseball careers in Key West before moving on to the Cuban League.[13] In 1899, a Cuban all-star team, the All Cubans, undertook their first barnstorming tour of the United States. The team, which was racially integrated (reflecting the racial integration of the Cuban League) played against professional and semi-professional teams, white and black, until 1905.[14]

However, the U.S. color line soon affected Cuban players. By 1904, white Cubans, such as Juan Violá, were playing in the minor leagues, and in 1911 Rafael Almeida and Armando Marsans broke into the majors with the Cincinnati Reds.[15] Meanwhile, Cubans with darker complexions played in the Negro leagues for teams such as the Cuban Stars (West), the Cuban Stars (East), and the New York Cubans. Some Cuban players moved on to success with U.S. teams, such as José Méndez with the Kansas City Monarchs and Cristóbal Torriente with the Chicago American Giants.[16]

After the closing of the Cuban League in 1961, inductions to the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame ceased in Havana. The players who had migrated to the United States, however, formed an organization, the Federation of Professional Cuban Baseball Players in Exile (Federación de Peloteros Profesionales Cubanos en el Exilio) which held elections in Miami to add new members to the hall.[17] These additional members are not universally recognized; they are not recognized in Cuba,[18] nor are they included in lists of Hall of Fame inductees shown in reference books by historians Peter Bjarkman and Jorge Figueredo.[19] The Miami elections continued in three phases—1962 through 1986, 1997 through 1998, and 2007—ultimately declaring more than 200 additional individuals as inductees.[20]

List of members

Year Name Primary
position[21]
Cuban League
Career
Play in the United States Ref
1939 Almeida, RafaelRafael Almeida 3B 1904–1925 Major League Baseball [22]
1939 Bustamante, Luis (Anguilla)Luis (Anguilla) Bustamante SS 1901–1912 Negro leagues [23]
1939 Garcia, Antonio MariaAntonio María (El Inglés) García 1B 1882–1905 All Cubans [24]
1939 González, GervasioGervasio González C 1902–1920 Negro leagues [25]
1939 Gonzalez, ValentinValentín (Sirique) González 2B 1890–1911 Minor leagues [26]
1939 Lujan, AdolfoAdolfo Luján P 1882–1891 [27]
1939 Marsans, ArmandoArmando Marsans OF 1905–1928 Major League Baseball [28]
1939 Mendez, JoseJosé de la Caridad Méndez P 1908–1927 Negro leagues [29]
1939 Royer, CarlosCarlos Royer P 1892–1911 All Cubans [30]
1939 Torriente, CristobalCristóbal Torriente OF 1913–1927 Negro leagues [31]
1940 Arcano, AlfredoAlfredo Arcaño OF 1888–1909 All Cubans [32]
1940 Munoz, JoseJosé (Joseíto) Muñoz P 1900–1914 Negro leagues [33]
1941 Garcia, ReginoRegino (Mamelo) García C 1902–1913 Negro leagues [34]
1941 Sabourin, EmilioEmilio Sabourín 2B 1878–1887 [35]
1942 Cabrera, AlfredoAlfredo (Pájaro) Cabrera SS 1901–1920 Major League Baseball [36]
1942 Molina, AgustinAgustín (Tinti) Molina C 1894–1909 Key West [37]
1943 Castillo, JulianJulián Castillo 1B 1901–1913 Negro leagues [38]
1943 Hidalgo, HeliodoroHeliodoro Hidalgo OF 1901–1916 Negro leagues [39]
1943 Padron, LuisLuis (Mulo) Padrón OF 1900–1919 Minor leagues [40]
1944 Macia, CarlosCarlos Maciá P 1885–1891 [41]
1944 Oms, AlejandroAlejandro Oms OF 1922–1946 Negro leagues [42]
1945 Baro, BernardoBernardo Baró OF 1915–1929 Negro leagues [43]
1945 Calzadilla, RomanRomán Calzadilla 3B 1889–1902 [44]
1945 Dreke, ValentinValentín Dreke OF 1919–1928 Negro leagues [45]
1945 Moran, CarlosCarlos (Chino) Morán 3B 1900–1916 Negro leagues [46]
1945 Pastoriza, Juan ManuelJuan Manuel Pastoriza P 1889–1895 [47]
1946 Cabaleiro, RicardoRicardo Cabaleiro OF 1890–1895 [48]
1946 Galvez, WenceslaoWenceslao Gálvez SS 1885–1887 [49]
1946 Poyo, Francsico A.Francsico A. Poyo C 1898–1900 Key West [50]
1946 Valdes, ArturoArturo Valdés P 1892–1902 [47]
1946 Valdes, RogelioRogelio Valdés SS 1900–1914 Negro leagues [51]
1948 Antiga, JuanJuan Antiga ? 1890–1892 [52]
1948 Calvo, JacintoJacinto Calvo OF 1913–1927 Major League Baseball [53]
1948 Guillo, NemesioNemesio Guilló OF 1878–1883 [54]
1948 Hernandez, RafaelRafael Hernández OF 1885–1898 [55]
1948 Mesa, Antonio (Antoñico)Antonio (Antoñico) Mesa 3B 1903-1905 [56]
1948 Romanach, TomasTomás (Italiano) Romañach SS 1910–1919 Minor leagues [57]
1949 Chacon, PelayoPelayo Chacón SS 1908–1932 Negro leagues [58]
1949 Lopez, JulioJulio (El Cartero) López OF 1888–1900 All Cubans [24]
1949 Machado, EduardoEduardo Machado SS 1888–1892 [59]
1949 Sanchez, GonzaloGonzalo Sánchez C 1903–1911 All Cubans [60]
1949 Villa, ManuelManuel Villa OF 1908–1920 Negro leagues [61]
1950 Cueto, ManuelManuel (Manolo) Cueto 3B 1912–1933 Major League Baseball [62]
1950 Figarola, RafaelRafael Figarola C 1906–1919 Negro leagues [63]
1950 Gutierrez, EustaquioEustaquio Gutiérrez OF 1914–1916 Minor leagues [64]
1950 Jimenez, EugenioEugenio Jiménez ? 1897–1902 [27]
1950 Martinez, RicardoRicardo Martínez SS 1878–1891 [65]
1951 Arango, AlfredoAlfredo Arango OF 1885–1891 [66]
1951 Dihigo, MartinMartín Dihigo P 1922–1947 Negro leagues [67]
1951 Jimenez, BienvenidoBienvenido (Pata Jorobá) Jiménez 2B 1913–1929 Negro leagues [68]
1951 Rodriguez, JoseJosé (Joseíto) Rodríguez 1B 1914–1939 Major League Baseball [69]
1951 Teuma, Jose MariaJosé María Teuma OF 1882–1889 [70]
1953 Quintero, MoisesMoisés Quintero C 1887–1905 All Cubans [71]
1953 Viola, JuanJuan Violá OF 1903–1915 Minor leagues [72]
1953 Zaldo, CarlosCarlos Zaldo SS 1878–1880 [73]
1954 Palmero, EmilioEmilio Palmero P 1913–1929 Major League Baseball [74]
1954 Ronquillo, PabloPablo Ronquillo OF 1885–1891 [70]
1955 Acosta, BaldomeroBaldomero (Merito) Acosta OF 1913–1925 Major League Baseball [75]
1955 Gonzalez, Miguel AngelMiguel Angel González C 1910–1936 Major League Baseball [76]
1956 Fabre, IsidroIsidro Fabré P 1918–1939 Negro leagues [77]
1956 Palomino, EmilioEmilio Palomino OF 1901–1913 All Cubans [78]
1957 Luque, AdolfoAdolfo Luque P 1912–1945 Major League Baseball [79]
1958 Acosta, JoseJosé (Acostica) Acosta P 1912–1930 Major League Baseball [80]
1958 Salazar, LazaroLázaro Salazar 1B 1930–1948 Negro leagues [81]
1959 Bragana, RamonRamón Bragaña P 1926–1948 Negro leagues [82]
1959 Cabanas, ArmandoArmando Cabañas 2B 1900–1916 Negro leagues [83]
1960 Cruz, TomasTomás de la Cruz P 1934–1947 Major League Baseball [84]
1960 Rodriguez, OscarOscar Rodríguez 2B 1918–1939 Minor leagues [85]

See also

Notes

References

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External links

  • Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame at Baseball-Almanac.com
  • Cubans in Baseball Halls of Fame at Cubanball.com

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