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Cubans playing for the Twins

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#1 stringer bell

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 08:47 PM

Once upon a time, when I was young, the Twins were a team that had a lot of Cuban players. In 1961, six Cuban natives saw time on the Twins' roster, including All-Star Camilo Pascual and future MVP Zoilo Versalles. In 1962, two more Cubanos played for the Twins, one of them being Twins Hall-of-Famer Tony Oliva. All of these players left Cuba before Cuba was closed off to the US by Castro.

In recent years, the Twins have had only one Cuban-born player, Livan Hernandez, who lasted less than a year as a member of the Twins' rotation.

Here is a list of all Cuban-born (169) major league ballplayers:

http://www.baseball-...ce.php?loc=Cuba

Here is my unofficial list of Cuban-born Twins: Julio Becquer, Leo Cardenas, Bert Cueto, Livan Hernandez, Hank Izquierdo, Marty Martinez, Tony Oliva, Camilo Pascual, Pedro Ramos, Jose Valdivielso, Sandy Valdespino, and Zoilo Versalles.

All of this brings us to the Twins' newest acquisition, Kendrys Morales. He had been in the US long enough that I had forgotten that he was a Cuban defector. He would be the first position player from Cuba to play for the Twins in almost 40 years.

Edited by stringer bell, 08 June 2014 - 06:02 AM.


#2 Seth Stohs

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 08:51 PM

This makes me wonder what role, if any, Tony Oliva and/or Julio Becquer may have had in recruiting Morales.

#3 exrugger9

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 09:07 PM

Heh... That's a great list, Stringer. My first Twins fan year was the '65 series team, when I was in Mrs. Loerch's 1st grade class. Zoilo was my favorite player. I remember the old timers talking about the 'TC' on the caps standing for Twenty Cubans....

#4 Thrylos

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 09:11 PM

Re: the Cubans with the Twins.
It was a franchise thing. The Senators was one of the first ballclubs that signed Cuban players and they continued doing it with a steady pipeline until the Castro years. Pasqual and Versalles too from the Oliva era. The Griffiths (father and nephew/adopted son) were really big on Cuban players. After Castro etc the Cuban equation changed a lot
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#5 ashburyjohn

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 09:13 PM

This makes me wonder what role, if any, Tony Oliva and/or Julio Becquer may have had in recruiting Morales.


If the role was significant, you'd think it would have shown up in some other form too in the last 40 years. :)

#6 Thrylos

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 09:15 PM

Here is a list of all Cuban-born (169) major league ballplayers:

http://www.baseball-...ce.php?loc=Cuba

Here is my unofficial list of Cuban-born Twins: Julio Becquer, Leo Cardenas, Bert Cueto, Livan Hernandez, Hank Izquierdo, Marty Martinez, Tony Oliva, Pedro Ramos, Jose Valdivielso, Sandy Valdespino, and Zoilo Versalles.
.


Camilo Pascual too.

Now if you click through those names, you'd see that about 20% were Senators...
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#7 Othercousin 324

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 10:51 PM

All in on in rejuvenating the Cuban pipeline Stringer. Great research. Uncle Bob stayed for the whole sermon but could make it to the old Met for Camilo's first pitch!

#8 TheLeviathan

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 05:57 AM

I think it goes back to my theory that the Twins are a pretty moral straight-laced club. (Not a bad thing by the way) So I wonder if the shady dealings required to get a Cuban today aren't part of this phenomenon.

#9 AM.

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 06:32 AM

I think it goes back to my theory that the Twins are a pretty moral straight-laced club. (Not a bad thing by the way) So I wonder if the shady dealings required to get a Cuban today aren't part of this phenomenon.


Of course, let's not mention the AC guy at the Metrodome.

#10 Fatt Crapps

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 05:19 PM

Of course, let's not mention the AC guy at the Metrodome.



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