A couple of weeks ago I mentioned in another thread an upcoming talk, as part of SABR's 2020 virtual convention, concerning the old Senators' scout Joe Cambria. The presenter is Paul Scimonelli, a retired schoolteacher in Bethesda, Maryland; he's working on a full length book about Cambria. The talk was given last Thursday (a recording of it is on YouTube) and here is my summary.
The title, "Saint or Scoundrel?" focused more on his sketchy business practices (for the scoundrel part). He sounded typical of a small time operator trying to skirt the limits of the rules, although maybe a little moreso than most, as regarded contract signings for the minor league teams he owned in the 20s and 30s, including conflicts of interest since minor league team ownership while also scouting for a major league team was frowned on. This applied regardless of the race of the player, as he was at one time part-owner of a Negro Leagues team, the Baltimore Black Sox.
Turning to the Cuban signings during his Senators days: in addition to Versalles and Oliva, Cambria was also credited with scouting/signing Carlos Paula, the first Senator to break the color line late in 1954. There were a couple of other players of color (Angel Scull, Raul Sanchez*) who were slated to reach the majors a little sooner, but injury and sub-par performance short-circuited both of those projects in the pipeline.
The author was pretty adamant, when I asked specifically, that Joe Cambria wasn't an obstacle to integration, even though the record shows that the majority of Cubans he is credited with signing were light-skinned. He believes, on the contrary, that Cambria had advocated Minnie Minoso and Roy Campanella to Washington, right after the War, just before Jackie Robinson made the scene. The Griffith family's qualms about the financial wisdom of embracing black ballplayers had more to do with Washington's slowness to join the integration process, if I may paraphrase. (As a side note, if you watch the video at around the 1:32:00 mark, you may notice the moderator being a little careful, hesitant, or even uncomfortable while reading my question to the speaker. It's a touchy subject, no matter how you approach it. I am grateful that he did pass it through, and that the speaker accepted the question in the open spirit it was offered.)
The author won't get his book out the door until next year, as he has some research yet to do and the libraries not being open are a current obstacle. But the state of the research at present seems good - I saw multiple comments from fellow SABRites saying this was meticulously researched. I'm looking forward to seeing the book when it comes out.
* I took a look at Raul Sanchez on baseball-reference.com, and he looks pretty light-skinned to me. I think the presenter simply mis-spoke and had a different pitcher in mind.