Ashwill: Cristóbal Torriente, buried in Queens after all?

From SABR member Gary Ashwill at Agate Type on December 14, 2015, with mention of SABR members Ralph Carhart and John Holway:

Here’s an update on Ralph Carhart’s research into the mystery of Cristóbal Torriente’s burial. To recap: the great Cuban outfielder spent his final days as a tuberculosis victim sequestered in Riverside Hospital on North Brother Island in the East River. Torriente’s death certificate indicated that his body was claimed by the Cuban ballplayer Ramiro Ramírez, an old teammate of Torriente, and that he was buried in “City Cemetery”; this is crossed out and replaced with Calvary Cemetery in Queens, where fellow Hall of Famers Willie Keeler and Mickey Welch are also buried.

However, another old Cuban teammate of Torriente, Rogelio Crespo, told John Holway that “they draped a Cuban flag over his coffin, and a politician arranged to return the body to Havana,” where it was interred in the Cementerio de Cristóbal Colón with dozens of other Cuban baseball stars (Holway, Blackball Stars, p. 132).

There are other slight variants on this story: in one account, Torriente was originally buried in New York City, but that his body was disinterred at the instigation of one Colonel Jaime Mariné y Montes, and returned to Cuba. I’ve seen Mariné y Montes described both as Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista’s aide-de-camp and as the head of Cuba’s “Dirección General Nacional de Deportes.”

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Originally published: December 15, 2015. Last Updated: December 15, 2015.