The Pride of Havana: A History of Cuban Baseball

By Roberto González Echevarría | Go to book overview
1 23 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E

























From a House Divided to a Full House

The outcome of The Game, when Max Lanier beat Habana at the end of the 1946-47 season, was an escalation of hostilities between Latin American and Organized Baseball, with Cuba as the focus. The frenzy created by the race between Almendares and Habana, the attendance records set in the Gran Stadium, and the obvious availability of Latin American talent and money did nothing but whet the appetite of U.S. baseball, and sharden its resolve to control the Latin American market and solidify its claim to primacy. Mexico had not only drawn an alarming number of American players, but even more Latin players, mostly from Cuba, though also from Puerto Rico, Panama, and Venezuela. The Mexican League had, in 1946-47, a dangerously intimate relationship with the Cuban League, then the premier winter circuit in Latin America. The sense of alarm among U.S. baseball magnates must have been heightened also by labor problems at home. American players formed a players' union and then initiated a pension fund. The Mexican League's tempting offers, moreover, started rumblings among U.S. players about the legality of the reserve clause, which bound them for life to the major-league team that signed him.

The atmosphere was ripe for conflict. In the spring of 1947 two American figures deeply involved in the struggle traveled to Havana to win over to their side the owners of teams in the Cuban League: Clark Griffith,

-44-

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The Pride of Havana: A History of Cuban Baseball
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • First Pitch 3
  • The Last Game 14
  • From a House Divided to a Full House 44
  • A Cuban Belle Époque 75
  • The Golden Age 112
  • The Great Amateur Era 189
  • The Revival of the Cuban League 252
  • The Age of Gold 298
  • Baseball and Revolution 352
  • Notes 407
  • Bibliography 423
  • Index 441
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