Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ray Dandridge flashed the leather for Marianao, other Cuban teams

Feb. 12: On this day in 1994, Hall of Famer Ray Dandridge died in Palm Bay, Fla.

A Negro leagues star, mostly with the Newark Eagles, Dandridge played 12 winters in the Cuban League, six with Marianao. He batted over .300 four seasons and .299 two others during his Cuban League career.

But it was his defensive prowess which drew the most praise. In Cuba, it was said of the bowlegged third baseman, "through Dandridge's legs could pass a train but not a ground ball."

Nicknamed "Talua" in Cuba, Dandridge (shown in this photo from The Attic and Closet Collectibles that's available on eBay) was elected to the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Born in 1913, Dandridge turned 34 years old the season Jackie Robinson broke the major-league color barrier in 1947, and he didn't begin playing in the minor leagues until age 35 with the Minneapolis Millers of the Class AAA American Association.

He played four seasons with the New York Giants' affiliate and between 1949-52 and spent the 1953 season with Oakland and Sacramento of the Pacific Coast League. But Dandridge never made it to the majors.

Despite that, Dandridge was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. by the Veterans Committee in 1987.

No comments:

Post a Comment