Saturday, September 24, 2011

Miguel Gonzalez was a star Cuban League catcher before managing, owning Habana

Sept. 24: On this day in 1890, Cuban League legend Miguel Angel Gonzalez was born in Havana, Cuba.

Elected to the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame in 1956, Gonzalez played 23 seasons, mostly as a catcher, in the Cuban League between 1910-36. Aside from playing 20 seasons with Habana, he also played two with Fe and one with Red Sox.

According to Who’s Who in Cuban Baseball, 1878-1961, Gonzalez led the Cuban League with a .432 batting average in 1932-33, ranks eight in league history in stolen bases (83) and batted over .300 in seven seasons, including three over .400.

As a manager, Gonzalez ranks first in seasons (34, of which 33 came with Habana), games (1,525), wins (851) and pennants won (14) in Cuban League history.

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

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