Castro and the Bad Bean

According to this site, in 1951 a young lawyer was thrown out of the Winter League for hitting a batter. Apparently, he decided that taking over Cuba was a more attractive career option.

My questions are several:

  • What is the Winter League? Is it “professional” baseball, like the minor leagues, or is/was it an informal association?

  • Anyone know if Castro was any good as a pitcher? Did he have major league prospects?

  • I know that Cuba in general and Fidel in particular is crazy about baseball, but do they follow the major leagues? If so, what’s Castro’s favorite team?

The fall and winter leagues are off-season leagues composed of minor-league players & managers from various teams. There are leagues in Arizona, California, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Australia, Hawai’i and Puerto Rico.

So, if you’re playing winter league ball, you’re a prospect of some sort. I think Fidel was a half-way decent pitcher, but no Juan Marichal.

Cubans follow their own leagues and teams. I believe Castro supports La Habana, prosaically enough.


Castro was good enough so that one major league team (Washington Senators?) asked him to try out for them. He decided not to.

Winter league teams often have major league players who are either rehabilitating themselves after an injury, or who need practice at some aspect of the game (for instance, NY Mets pitcher Octavio Dotel is there now trying to learn how to throw a changeup).

Read “Sundials” in the new issue of Aboriginal Science Fiction.