José Méndez


José de la Caridad Méndez Baez
"The Black Diamond"

Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Born: March 19, 1887, Cárdenas, Cuba
Died: October 31, 1928, Havana, Cuba

Pitcher José Méndez was likely the first internationally known Cuban baseball star. The dark-complexioned Méndez, nicknamed Black Diamond, was noted for his blazing fastball and sharp curve. John McGraw and Pop Lloyd raved about Méndez's skill on the mound. The author of a 10-inning perfect game as a member of the Cuban Stars in 1909, his career spanned from 1908-26. As a player-manager with the Kansas City Monarchs, he led the Negro National League team to three consecutive pennants (1923-25).

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