Sunday, December 12, 2010

Lazaro Salazar starred as a hitter, pitcher and manager

Dec. 12: On this day in 1912, Lazaro Salazar was born in Havana.

Known as El Principe de Belen, the Prince of Belen, Salazar was elected to the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame in 1959. He played for Santa Clara, Almendares and Marianao from 1930-48.

Salazar (shown in this 1947-48 Kellegg's Corn Flakes postcard) was twice named the Cuban League MVP (1934-35 and 1937-38) and twice the league in batting average, including a .407 mark in 1934-35, according to Who's Who in Cuban Baseball, 1878-1961. Six times he batted over .300, and he also compiled a 35-24 record as a pitcher, leading the league with six wins in 1934-35.

As a manager, Salazar led Santa Clara to back-to-back Cuban League pennants in 1937-38 and '38-39.

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