We’re pleased to pass along this update from SABR member Gary Ashwill at Seamheads.com on May 12, 2014:
Possibly for the first time anywhere, and certainly for the first time in recent history, the Seamheads Negro Leagues Database is presenting (nearly) complete statistics for both the 1923/24 Cuban League season as well as the 1924 Gran Premio that followed it.
The 1923/24 Santa Clara club is the most legendary team in Cuban history, the island’s equivalent of the 1927 Yankees. Tinti Molina had taken the 1922/23 Santa Clara team, which might have been best in the league but had walked out after a mid-season dispute over a disallowed win, and added Dobie Moore, Reuben Curry, and Heavy Johnson of the NNL champion Kansas City Monarchs. The ’23/’24 Leopardos featured its own Murderers’ Row consisting of Moore, Oscar Charleston, Alejandro Oms, and Oliver Marcell, along with guest appearances by Johnson (for the first part of the season) and Esteban Montalvo (the team’s fourth outfielder). Their pitching was solid, led by the Negro league trio of Curry, Dave Brown, and Bill Holland, along with Pedro Dibut (who would appear for the Cincinnati Reds in 1924). By mid-January the Leopardos were 36-11 and 11 ½ games ahead of second-place Habana, and the league called it quits.
The last-place Marianao Elefantes disbanded and the team’s players were redistributed among the other three teams, and started a new competition, the Grand Winter Championship (Gran Premio Invernal), to be played in a split-season format, with the winners of the two halves facing off in a championship series at the end. Santa Clara won the first half. Not until the second half of this second season did the Leopardos falter, with Almendares taking the second-half title of the Gran Premio. By this time, however, it was March, and all three teams were starting to lose players to spring training in the U.S.—so the playoff between Almendares and Santa Clara was cancelled. When the won/lost records for the two halves of the Gran Premio were added up, Santa Clara came out on top again—barely.
Also, with the help of historian Todd Peterson, we’ve added a number of new games and teams for the years 1903 to 1913.
On Deck: In coming weeks we’ll be adding the 1935 and 1936 Negro National League, the East-West All-Star Games, the Mexican League, the 1926 Eastern Colored League, and more Cuban League seasons.
To view the award-winning Seamheads Negro Leagues Database, visit http://www.seamheads.com/NegroLgs/index.php
- Seamheads Negro Leagues Database updated with 1922-23 stats (July 24, 2013)
- Seamheads Negro Leagues Database updated with 1933 stats (April 9, 2013)
- Seamheads Negro Leagues Database updated with 1899-1900 stats (February 4, 2013)
- 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: May 14, 2014. Last Updated: July 16, 2020.