Seamheads.com updates Negro Leagues Database with 1918-19 Cuban League stats
We are pleased to pass along this update from SABR member Gary Ashwill at Seamheads.com on February 17, 2016:
The 1918/19 Cuban winter season was the only time Tinti Molina’s Cuban Stars, normally a summertime traveling team in the United States, competed under that name for the regular Cuban League championship. (Molina would enter teams that were essentially his Cuban Stars in the league under different names: as the “White Sox” in 1916/17, and as “América” in 1919-20.) Nicknamed “Los Osos Tropicales” (the Tropical Bears), the Cuban Stars played fairly well but suffered from both bad luck and the absence of Cristóbal Torriente, the best player in Cuban history to that point. They finished well back of Habana in the first half of the split season. One of the highlights of their season occurred in a December 21, 1918, game against Almendares, when Bienvenido Jiménez stole 8 bases, and Bartolo Portuondo another 5. Their victims were Almendares pitcher Benito Marrero and the legendary (but aging) catcher Gervasio “Strike” González.
Habana, stocked with players from the North American minor leagues, ran away with the first half. The second half was much closer. At the end of the regular schedule the three teams were deadlocked with identical 11-11 records. A further round of games was scheduled, and Habana came out on top, thus winning both halves and the pennant. Habana’s manager, the St. Louis Cardinals’ Mike González, was probably the best everyday player in the league (.329/.392/.452, with a league-leading 8 doubles and 32 RBI). Their ace, the right-hander José Acosta (“Acostica”), proved to be a real workhorse, despite his slight build (5’6”, 134 pounds). He threw over half of Habana’s innings and went 15-9 with a 1.55 ERA. Possibly the greatest moment of the Reds’ year, however, came on December 2, 1918, when Baldomero “Merito” Acosta (José’s brother, who had hit .298 in 52 games for the Senators and A’s the previous summer) turned an unassisted triple play from center field.
Read the full update here: http://seamheads.com/2016/02/17/negro-leagues-db-update-191819-cuban-league/
To view the award-winning Seamheads Negro Leagues Database, visit http://www.seamheads.com/NegroLgs/index.php
- Seamheads Negro Leagues Database update: 1925 season (February 4, 2016)
- Seamheads Negro Leagues Database update: 1938 Negro National League stats (January 28, 2016)
- Seamheads Negro Leagues Database update: 1932 East-West League stats (August 13, 2015)
- Little-known players from the Seamheads Negro Leagues Database (February 2, 2012)
- Read our Q&A with Gary Ashwill about the Negro Leagues Database (September 14, 2011)
Originally published: February 18, 2016. Last Updated: July 16, 2020.