Oct. 3: On this day in 1887, Cuban baseball pioneer Armando Marsans was born in Matanzas, Cuba.
On July 4, 1911, Marsans (shown in this photo that was up for auction at CubanBaseballCards.com in September 2010) and Rafael Almeida became the first Cuban-born players to play in the majors during the modern era.
Marsans batted .269 in eight major league seasons with the Reds, St. Louis Terriers (Federal League), St. Louis Browns and New York Yankees.
In the Cuban League, Marsans, elected to the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939, played 20 seasons, mostly with Almendares.
According to Who's Who in Cuban Baseball, 1878-1961, he’s the all-time league leader in stolen bases (135) and six times batted over .300, including leading the lleague with a .400 batting average in 1913.
Marsans also led Orientals to the Cuban League pennant as manager in 1917.