Monday, November 8, 2010

Andres Fleitas was MVP of fabled 1946-47 season

Nov. 8: On this date in 1916, Cuban League star Andres Fleitas was born in Central Constancia, Abreu, Las Villas.

Elected to the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983, Fleitas was the MVP of the fabled 1946-47 season, in which Almendares swept Habana in the teams' final three-game series to win the pennant.

Fleitas, who batted .316 that season, tripled in the winning run in seventh inning in the second game of that series as Almendares beat Habana 2-1 behind a complete-game effort by Agapito Mayor. The next day, Fleitas was behind the plate as Max Lanier beat Habana 9-2 on one-day's rest.

In 1999, Lanier asked me to pass along a note to Fleitas that read in part:

You were a great person as well as a great catcher. I couldn’t have won those two games without you behind home plate.

Between 1942-55, Fleitas played 10 seasons with Almendares. Unlike his brother, Angel, who played with the Washington Senators in 1948, Andres never played in the majors -- although the Baseball Reference website has Andres' mugshot on Angel's bio page.

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