"Who is the greatest manager, really, Luque or
"I think they are equal."
-- Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
Dawn was cool and bright in Havana on Tuesday, February 25, 1947. A brisk wind whipped away the high clouds remaining from yesterday's rains as a golden glow began to unveil the skyline of the city. Newspaper vendors broke the silence with their cries, and bottles clinked on sidewalks and in doorways as milkmen completed their rounds. The rumble of buses and the clanging of streetcars were just beginning. Soon, as if driven by a sudden migratory urge, thousands would board them, joining others on foot and in cars. The thousands would head to the Gran Stadium de la Habana, the new baseball park built not far from downtown, to the south. The most dramatic ending in the nearly seventy-year history of the Cuban League was about to take place that afternoon, in a contest that -- no one knew it then -- would be the most important baseball game yet played on the island, perhaps the last of such portent.
In Santos Suárez, a middle-class suburb of Havana developed mostly in the twenties in a style reminiscent of California, a man of thirty got up