Monday, June 27, 2011

Fred Martin, Habana stumbled down the stretch in 1946-47

June 27: On this day in 1915, former major league pitcher Fred Martin was born in Williams, Okla.

Martin played only three major-league seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1946, '49 and '50, but he was a significant figure in the Cuban League, where he pitched for Habana, Leones and Almendares during four winters between 1945-52.

Martin, shown here with battery mate Salvador Hernandez, played a particularly key, if dubious, role during the exciting pennant run of the 1946-47 season.

Heading into February, the season's final month, Habana held a seemingly insurmountable lead over arch rival Almendares, but the Scorpions won 13 of their final 14 games to overtake the Lions and win the pennant.

As Habana stumbled to a 5-8 record down the stretch, Martin, who was 9-8 for Habana that winter, went 1-3 the final month, including a pair of losses to Almendares.

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