Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dick Sisler's Cuban League exploits earned him a day in his honor in 1946

Nov. 2: On this day in 1920, former major leaguer and Cuban League legend Dick Sisler was born in St. Louis, Mo.

This photo, which is up for auction at Hake's, shows the Habana Leones player during Dick Sisler Day, which was held Feb. 3, 1946 at Cuba's La Tropical Stadium.

The son of Hall of Famer George Sisler no doubt merited a day in his honor because of his exploits in the Cuban League.

Dick Sisler became a Cuban League legend while playing with Habana during the 1945-46 and 1953-54 seasons.

In 1945, he hit two home runs in his first game on Dec. 11. Later that season in a Jan. 23, 1946 game, Sisler clubbed a homer over a 450-foot barrier La Tropical Stadium, "hitting a wall at the brewery next door," according to Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, 1878-1961. And the next day, he belted three homers off Sal Maglie, pitching for Cienfuegos.

Sisler's exploits even got him mentioned in Ernest Hemingway's Pulitzer-winning novel The Old Man and the Sea when the character of Santiago remembers "Dick Sisler and those great drivers at the old park."

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