Havana Sugar Kings

From BR Bullpen


Team History[edit]

The Havana Sugar Kings made the International League truly international in 1954 when they represented the third nation in the IL (Cuba joining Canada and the USA). In 1955, the Sugar Kings affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds, a relationship that lasted until 1960 when nationalization of American industries led the IL to move the franchise to New Jersey where they became the Jersey City Jerseys. The brightest moment in the history of the Sugar Kings was 1959, when they won the 1959 Junior World Series in one of the most eventful years in Cuban history. Among the more famous players on that team were hurlers Luis Arroyo and Mike Cuellar; Cuellar spent his first three pro seasons with the Sugar Kings and led the IL in ERA in 1957. Playing close to sea level led to low offensive statistics and impressive pitching stats for Havana.

Year-by-Year Record[edit]

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs Notes
1954 78-77 5th Reggie Otero
1955 87-66 3rd Reggie Otero Lost in 1st round
1956 72-82 6th Reggie Otero (17-30) / Napoleon Reyes (57-52)
1957 72-82 6th Napoleon Reyes
1958 65-88 8th Napoleon Reyes (46-55) / Tony Pacheco (19-33)
1959 80-73 3rd Preston Gomez League Champs
1960 76-77 overall -- Tony Castano Team moved to Jersey City July 13

Further Reading[edit]

  • César Brioso: Last Seasons in Havana: The Castro Revolution and the End of Professional Baseball in Cuba, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE, 2019. ISBN 978-1-4962-0551-3
  • Lou Hernández: Bobby Maduro and the Cuban Sugar Kings, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2018. ISBN 978-1-4766-3482-1