New York Cubans

New York Cubans
1935-36, 1939-50

The first Latino team, the Cuban All-Stars, squared off against teams from the Negro Leagues in 1900 in an exhibition format. For the next 10 years, the trend continued, but by 1910, the Cuban All-Stars had become a permanent fixture in and around the Negro Leagues of the United States. During the next 25 years the Cuban All-Stars split into two squads, East and West.

The Cuban teams eventually evolved into what became the New York Cubans, a squad made up of predominately Latino players, in 1935. The elder Cepeda, the most celebrated player from Puerto Rico, was on the roster for the 1941 New York Cubans.

Photo: 1940 N.Y. Cubans

Historically, the NY Cubans were rivaled only by the Indianapolis Clowns, a barnstorming bunch of All-Stars during the 1940s, in terms of having players of Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Mexican and African-American descent on their roster.

Photo: 1943 N.Y. Cubans

In 1947, the Cubans beat the Cleveland Buckeyes for the Negro World Series Championship. Their pitching staff was lead by junk baller Luis Tiant, Sr: and leading their offensive attack was future American League All-Star Minnie Minoso. Perhaps their greatest all-time performer was Martin Dihigo, versatile at all nine positions. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in three nations: the United States, Cuba and Mexico.

Photo: 1947 N.Y. Cubans - Negro World Series Champs