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Making the Majors - Segregation


"Today it is almost impossible to realize the furor the signing of two Cubans caused in 1911." - Baseball historian Lee Allen

In 1911, the Cincinnati Reds risked baseball's sanction by signing Cubans Armando Marsans and Rafael Almeida, veterans of the minor leagues in the U.S. and Cuban winter ball.

Bat presented by Cuba's Bacardi distillery to the New York Giants after their 1911 tour playing against Havana's winter leaguers, including Cincinnati's Rafael Almeida

Telegram stating that Marsans and Almeida were Spanish (white) Cubans, which the Reds hoped would prove compliance with baseball's segregation policy and quiet possible outrage

Tobacco premium featuring the 1913 Reds, including Rafael Almeida (middle row, third from left) and Armando Marsans (middle row, sixth from left)