Upon seeing an earlier post about Don Newcombe's playing days in Cuba, Mike Sandlock Jr. -- pictured here as a young batboy wearing a Montreal Royals uniform while sitting in the Almendares dugout during the 1948-49 season -- relayed an interesting article about his father, major-league catcher Mike Sandlock.
In the post, Newcombe is quoted describing his struggles with his control while pitching for Almendares in 1948-49.
The Connecticut-newspaper article Sandlock Jr. sent described his father's role in trying to get Newcombe on track in winter ball:
His ability as a receiver was evident at Almendares. Don Newcombe was pitching for the club and had not won a game. The first chore that Mike met was to catch a winning game for the big Negro, who gained stardom in the National League this year.That winter, Newcome went a combined 1-4 in nine appearances with Marianao and Almendares, the one victory coming with Almendares.
Despite Newcombe's struggles that winter, Sandlock is quoted in the article as saying Newcome "was the best pitcher I ever caught, in or out of the major leagues."
In this photo, the younger Sandlock is shown with Almendares players Vicente Lopez, Octavio Rubert, Matt Morris, Francisco 'Sojito' Gallardo (holding Mike Sandlock Jr.) Rene 'Tata' Solis and Willy Miranda.