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Thread: Senators "Cuban Connection"

  1. #1
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    Senators "Cuban Connection"

    Those of you who may be following the "This Date In Washington Senators History" thread have probably noted the frequently mentioned "Cuban Connection".

    The Senators all-time roster is filled with players of Cuban origin who experienced varying degrees of success while donning the uniform of both the original and expansion Washington Senators.

    Here's an article from ESPN that discusses Washington's Cuban Connection and Joe Cambria, the Italian-born scout who signed many Cuban players for the Senators:

    The Cuban Senators by Matt Welch
    Last edited by Aa3rt; 07-25-2008 at 07:21 AM.
    "For the Washington Senators, the worst time of the year is the baseball season." Roger Kahn

    "People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring." Rogers Hornsby.

  2. #2
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    I think the bad feelings among Cuban sportsmen with Cambria was inevitable. He was mining the nuggets and shipping them overseas. The Cuban leagues couldn't compete with the income potential Cambria and others symbolized. The point then becomes what is more important? The individual players Cambia helped or others. Personally, if I was a poor boy growing up in Cuba playing baseball and Papa Joe came around to talk to me, I'd thank my lucky stars.

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    Story from Shirley Povich, who knew everything (Povich was a sportswriter for the Washington Post from 1924 until he died in 1999.):

    Cambria tried out a young Cuban pitcher. Evaluation? Good curve-ball, but not a major-league fastball...go to law school, kid.

    The kid? Fidel Castro.

    Cambria knew everyone.

  4. #4
    Becquer is incorrect on one count. Becquer stated that Pedro Ramos and Camilo Pascual could pitch a "thousand innings" in winter ball and never miss their turn in the Senator rotation in the summer. Pascual was plagued with arm miseries early in his career due to pitching practically year round, as was Ramos. It got to the point that Calvin Griffith demanded, I believe it was Ramos, that he stop playing winter ball. Ramos asked for a pay raise in exchange, which Calvin denied. So, Ramos continued to pitch in the winter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by welch View Post
    Story from Shirley Povich, who knew everything (Povich was a sportswriter for the Washington Post from 1924 until he died in 1999.):

    Cambria tried out a young Cuban pitcher. Evaluation? Good curve-ball, but not a major-league fastball...go to law school, kid.

    The kid? Fidel Castro.

    Cambria knew everyone.
    Not that old wives' tale again. Debunking here:

    http://www.snopes.com/sports/baseball/castro.asp

  6. #6
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    Castro was a big baseball fan and he and Cambria were well acquainted. During the Cuban government's period of transition, Castro guaranteed Cambria's safety and declared that all were to show respect to the scout. At times soldiers were sent ot protect Cambia.

    I've read that Cambria had a file on Castro's pitching ability. Though that's not to say it warranted any special consideration.
    Last edited by Brian McKenna; 11-05-2008 at 10:19 AM.

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    Senators cubans

    A whole bunch of cuban players made it to the Majors during the '40s , and the '50s via Scout Cambria . It was good business for the team as the salaries for these players were extremely low . But for them it was a chance to exhibit their talents , and anyway they were making more money in the USA than back home . Let's see if i can upload some photos of these brave souls .
    The first one is Julio " Jiquí " Moreno , a right handed pitcher who threw with the Senators from 1950 to 1953 . He went 18-22 with a 4.25 ERA in 73 games . 45 of those as a starter .
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Oliverio

    Well , here is another right handed pitcher . Oliverio " Baby " Ortiz saw action in WWII year of 1944 going 0-2 with a 6.23 ERA . Only two games , both as a starter , one was a complete game . 13 IP , 6 BB , 4 K's . Younger brother of Roberto Ortiz , an outfielder with the Senators for 6 years .
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    Evelio Hernandez
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    Rogelio " Limonar " Martínez saw action with the Senators in 1950 . Was in two games only going 0-1 .
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    " Patato " Pascual

    Carlos " Patato " Pascual - not "potato " , was the elder brother of Camilo Pascual ,he got his chance in 1950 . He performed in only two games but did very well . He went 1-1 and completed both games . His ERA was 2.12 , but somehow he never was called up again .
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
    I recently spoke with Jose Zardon, who played with Washington in 1945, who is still kicking around in Florida.
    Baseball Happenings
    - Linking baseball's past, present and future.
    http://baseballhappenings.blogspot.com

  13. #13
    Caribeno, Those are great pictures of some of the Senators' Cuban players from the early '50s. I don't recall the Senators of that era having red caps and sleeves: Was this an artistic conceit by the person who airbrushed these pictures, or am I missing something?

  14. #14

    Longevity

    Two of those Cuban pitchers mentioned in this thread are among the oldest living major league ballplayers, according to Wikipedia.
    Connie Marrero is the third oldest living major leaguer. Born 8/11/1911, he's currently 97. He Played for Senators from 1950-1954 in a belated major league career and even was chosen to the American League's 1951 all-star team.
    Rogelio Martinez reached his 90th birthday last November 5. (Ranked as
    55th oldest living baseball player).

    See Oldest living baseball player list at wikipedia.com

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    red color

    Quote Originally Posted by mendoza_line View Post
    Caribeno, Those are great pictures of some of the Senators' Cuban players from the early '50s. I don't recall the Senators of that era having red caps and sleeves: Was this an artistic conceit by the person who airbrushed these pictures, or am I missing something?
    Mendoza -
    I just don't know . That's the way i obtained those photos .
    caribeño

  16. #16
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    Question red color 2

    mendoza -
    I just checked the Hall of Fame site for uniforms , and the sleeves and caps color is navy blue , not red . so i don't know why the red in these photos .
    caribeño

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    I will add Fermín "Mike" Guerra, Sandalio "Sandy" Consuegra, and Willy Miranda.

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    caribeño, I hope you check in again soon. It seems to me that Jiquí Moreno and Sandy Consuegra bear a strong resemblance to each other. This Life photo identifies the third man as Moreno, but I think it's Consuegra. The fourth man is definitely Conrado Marrero, not Ambassador Machado.

    http://www.life.com/image/50648673

  19. #19
    Two of those Cuban pitchers mentioned in this thread are among the oldest living major league ballplayers, according to Wikipedia.
    Connie Marrero is the third oldest living major leaguer. Born 8/11/1911, he's currently 97. He Played for Senators from 1950-1954 in a belated major league career and even was chosen to the American League's 1951 all-star team.
    Rogelio Martinez reached his 90th birthday last November 5. (Ranked as
    55th oldest living baseball player).

    See Oldest living baseball player list at wikipedia.com

    Rogelio Martinez may not be alive. We don't know where he is. Marrero is definitely alive and living in Havana.

  20. #20
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    virginiano - You are right about the fourth guy . That's Conrado not the ambassador . And you are also right about the resemblance of Jiquí Moreno to Consuegra , but the third man is Sandalio to me . Remember that Sandalio was taller than Fermín Guerra , and that Jiquí i was smaller than Fermín . Also Sandalio was a lot thinner than Jiquí .
    Quote Originally Posted by VIBaseball View Post
    caribeño, I hope you check in again soon. It seems to me that Jiquí Moreno and Sandy Consuegra bear a strong resemblance to each other. This Life photo identifies the third man as Moreno, but I think it's Consuegra. The fourth man is definitely Conrado Marrero, not Ambassador Machado.

    http://www.life.com/image/50648673

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