Friday, June 24, 2011

Oliver Marcelle was a member of dominant 1923-24 Santa Clara team

June 24: On this day in 1897, Negro leagues star Oliver "The Ghost" Marcelle was born in Thibedeaux, La.

Elected to the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007, Marcelle played for Santa Clara, Matanzas, Habana, Havana Reds, Almendares and Cuba during nine winters in the Cuban League from 1922-30.

According to Who's Who in Cuban Baseball, 1878-1961, Marcelle (shown in this image from a 1923-24 Billiken card) led the Cuban League with a .393 average in 1923-24.

That season, Marcelle was a member of a Santa Clara team that Jorge S. Figueredo's book, Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, 1878-1961, said is "considered the most dominant team ever in the history of Cuban baseball."

Aside from Marcelle, Santa Clara included Jose Mendez, Oscar Charleston, Alejandro Oms, Pablo Mesa, Frank Warfield, Frank Duncan and Dobie Moore as the Leopards won the pennant by 11 1/2 games over second-place Habana.

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