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Thread: Cubans playing for the Twins

  1. #1
    Please ban me! All-Star stringer bell's Avatar
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    Cubans playing for the Twins

    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-almanac.com/play...e.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.
    Last edited by stringer bell; 06-08-2014 at 07:02 AM.

  2. #2
    Owner MVP Seth Stohs's Avatar
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    This makes me wonder what role, if any, Tony Oliva and/or Julio Becquer may have had in recruiting Morales.

  3. #3
    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....

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    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    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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    Twins Moderator MVP ashburyjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
    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.

  7. #6
    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stringer bell View Post
    Here is a list of all Cuban-born (169) major league ballplayers:

    http://www.baseball-almanac.com/play...e.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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  8. #7
    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!

  9. #8
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    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.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Triple-A
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    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.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Triple-A
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    Quote Originally Posted by AM. View Post
    Of course, let's not mention the AC guy at the Metrodome.

    Most important member of the organization. Undefeated at home in both World Series'.

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