Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Napoleon Reyes was a player-manager in short-lived Players Federation League

Nov. 24: On this day in 1919 Napoleon Reyes was born in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba.

Elected to the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973, Reyes is shown here in a 1947-48 Sol de Oro premium that was part of a lot that brought a winning bid of $479 at Leland's in 2006.

Reyes was the player-manager for the Cuba entry of the Players Federation League, which played at La Tropical Stadium concurrently with the official Cuban League.

With Reyes batting .227, Cuba finished second, four games behind Leones and two games ahead of Alacranes. The Santiago entry withdrew from the league on Dec. 15, 1947, according to Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, 1878-1961.

Although the league only lasted the one season, it includes some of the top winter league players in Cuba, such as Max Lanier, Sal Maglie, Roberto Ortiz, Luis Olmo, Alejandro Crespo, Sandalio Consuegra, Adrian Zabala, Hector Rodriguez, Terris McDuffie, Fred Martin, Agapito Mayor and Avelino Cañizares.

Aside from Reyes, the other managers in the league Adolfo Luque (Alacranes), Salvador Hernandez (Leones) and Lazaro Salazar (Santiago).

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