Cuba - Cuban League

República de Cuba

With no ban against black professional players, Cuba combined a passion for baseball with the Caribbean's strongest economy to field teams that often defeated barnstorming major league clubs. Cuba's famed winter league usually featured four clubs-Havana, Almendares, Marianao and Cienfuegos-and flourished until 1961.

The variety of merchandise produced for the Cuban League in the 1940s and '50s suggests the enthusiasm Cuban fans had for their clubs. The Havana-Almendares rivalry was especially heated.

Cuban League "Blue Book," featuring final statistics and standings from the 1946-47 season

Baseball sticker album for the 1945-46 Cuban League included future Hall of Famers Martín Dihigo and Ray Brown, and future All-Star Sal Maglie.

"Wash with the 'Soap of Baseball,'" advised a Crusellas soap ad from a 1951 Cuban program. "Have the emblem of your favorite team, even in your bathroom!"

Colgate toothpaste ad, featuring "testimonials" from the mascots of each Cuban League team, 1953

Daniel Morejón, outfielder for the Havana (Cuba) Sugar Kings of the Triple-A International League, earned this ring when Havana won the 1959 Junior World Series. Tied in the seventh and deciding game, Morejón's bottom-of-the-ninth RBI lifted the Sugar Kings to a 3-2 victory over the visiting Minneapolis Millers.