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Alex Pompez

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Alejandro Pompez

Inducted into Hall of Fame in 2006

[edit] Biographical Information

Alex Pompez was one of the Negro National League's finest promoters. He bought the New York Cuban Stars after having made money in the Harlem numbers racket. Pompez was instrumental in getting lights installed for night games in 1930, eight years earlier than the first major league night game.

After his mob connections were sent to prison, Pompez fled to Mexico and withdrew his club, now called the New York Cubans, from the Negro National League. He returned to field a team in 1939. During the 1940s, Pompez served as vice president of the Negro National League.

In 1948, Pompez agreed to make the Cubans a farm club for the New York Giants. Through this agreement, the Cubans were able to play at the Polo Grounds when the Giants were on the road.

Giants owner Horace Stoneham often asked Pompez for recommendations on players from the Caribbean. Pompez helped hundreds of young players make the leap from sugar cane fields to major league ball fields. Among his notable signees were Juan Marichal, Orlando Cepeda, Tony Oliva and Camilo Pascual. Baseball Guides list Pompez as a scout for the Giants in New York and San Francisco from 1952 to 1974.

When the Hall of Fame began electing players from the Negro Leagues, Pompez was asked to serve on the committee. He was responsible for helping to elect the first four classes of Negro Leaguers to the Hall.

Alex Pompez died in 1974 at age 83. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in a special election on February 27, 2006.

[edit] Further Reading

  • Adrian Burgos, Jr.: Cuban Star: How One Negro-League Owner Changed the Face of Baseball, Farar, Strauss & Giroux, New York, NY, 2011.
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