Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Miguel Angel Gonzalez played, managed, coaches with Cardinals

Cuban League legend Miguel Angel Gonzalez during his playing days with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Aside from being a legendary catcher, manager and owner with Club Habana, Gonzalez played 17 major-league seasons with the Cardinals, Giants, Cubs, Reds and Boston Braves between 1912-29.

Gonzalez (shown in this photo from The Sporting News archive that was up for auction at Mears Monthy Auctions in November 2010) also became the first Latino manager in major-league history when he served as a interim manager with the Cardinals in 1938 and '40, compiling an 9-13 record during those seasons.

A long-time coach with the Cardinals, it was Gonzalez, as the team's third base coach, who waved home Enos "Country" Slaughter on his "Mad Dash Home" in Game 7 of the 1946 World Series.

In Cuba League history, Gonzalez, who was elected into the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955, played 20 of his 23 seasons with Habana. Seven times he batted over .300, including three times over .400, according to Who's Who in Cuban Baseball, 1878-1961.
As a manager in Cuban League history, Gonzalez ranks first in seasons (34, of which 33 came with Habana), games (1,525), wins (851) and pennants won (14).

Gonzalez purchased the Habana team on Nov. 29, 1946 from the estate of Abel Linares.

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