Sunday, March 6, 2011

Cookie Rojas played for Cienfuegos, Habana in Cuban League

March 6: On this day in 1939, former major-league player and manager Octavio "Cookie" Rojas was born in Havana, Cuba.

Rojas, who's nickname in Cuba was "Cuqui" rather than the American version, was elected into the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982.

Rojas (shown in this photo that appears in Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, 1878-1961) played four Cuban League seasons mostly with Cienfuegos between 1957-61.

His best season came in 1960-61 when he led the league in batting (.322) playing for Cienfuegos and Habana.

Rojas, who managed the Angels in 1988 and the Marlins in 1996, was one of seven Cuban-born managers in major-league history. The others: Miguel Angel Gonzalez (1938, 1940 Cardinals), Preston Gomez (1969-72 Padres, 1974-75 Astros, 1980 Cubs), Marty Martinez (1986 Mariners), Tony Perez (1993 Reds, 2001 Marlins), Carlos Tosca (2002-04 Blue Jays) and Fredi Gonzalez (2011 Braves).

Rojas played 16 major-league seasons with the Reds, Phillies, Cardinals and Royals.

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