August 2, 2014

Negro Leagues DB Update: Cuban Summer League

December 15, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The historical Cuban League everyone knows about was played in the fall and winter months, and so is often referred to as the Cuban Winter League.  Almost nobody remembers that, in the first decade of the 20th century at least, there was a Cuban Summer League, too, the Premio de Verano, or Summer Championship.  The three major clubs of the Cuban Winter League—Almendares, Habana, and Fe—fielded teams in the Summer League, though they went by different names—Azul, Rojo, and Carmelita, respectively.  (Habana also went by the names Punzó, a shade of dark red, and Eminencia, a cigar company that evidently sponsored the team in the summer of 1905, while Fe went by the name of Alerta for a couple of years.)

The quality of play in the Summer League was nearly the same as that in the Winter League, with most of the Winter League stars (Julián Castillo, Regino García, Carlos Morán, Luis González) turning out.  The major exceptions were the players who spent the summers touring in the U.S. as the All-Cubans, and even these often returned to Cuba in time to take part in the latter stages of the Premio de Verano.

This update also includes the 1902/03 and 1903/04 Cuban Winter League, seasons in which Habana, managed by Alberto Azoy and led by their great pitcher Carlos Royer, were dominant.  The 1902/03 season was divided into three series, the first two functioning in essentially the same way as a split season; the third series was a championship showdown between Fe, which had won the first series, and Habana, winner of the second series.  Here we’ve combined the two regular season series, but kept the championship separate.

We’ve also added four new games for 1918, all victories by Hilldale and Phil Cockrell, and made a variety of additions to our biographical database.  Most notably we’ve fully identified several obscure Indianapolis-based players of the 1910s, such as Jack Hannibal, an outfielder & welterweight boxer whose real name was Porter Lee Floyd; Arthur Coleman, a lefthanded pitcher who has sometimes been confused with the catcher Clarence Coleman; and McKinley Brewer, another pitcher for Jewell’s A.B.C.s and the Chicago Giants.

Thanks to Alan Fuchs, who provided a better image of Harry Salmon (pictures of Salmon are very rare).  Alan is also responsible for several other good player photos, especially Hilldale and Kansas City Monarchs players.

Julián Castillo, Harry Salmon, Jack Hannibal

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