Monday, October 11, 2010

Silvio Garcia might have had role in breaking baseball's color barrier

Oct. 11: On this date in 1914, Silvio Garcia was born in Limonar, Matanzas, Cuba.

Garcia, elected to the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983, played for Habana, Marianao, Almendares, Santa Clara, Matanzas and Cienfuegos (10 seasons) from 1931-54.

On April 9, 1952, Garcia -- along with Havana Cubans teammate Angel Scull and George Handy of the Miami Beach Flamingos -- broke the color barrier in the Florida International League, according to Who's Who in Cuban Baseball: 1878-1961.

Legend has it Garcia, shown in this 1949-50 Carteles magazine premium, was being considered by Branch Rickey to become the player who would break the major league color barrier. That was until Garcia, when asked by Rickey how he would react to a racial slur, responded, "I would kill him."

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