Joe Cambria

International Super Scout of the Washington Senators


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About the Book

One of the most prolific scouts in baseball history, Joe Cambria almost single-handedly saved the Washington Senators from ruin. Signing a stream of young players from Cuba—as many as 20 per season for three decades—he fed the team affordable talent and kept them competitive during World War II, when many front-liners went to the front lines. Cambria subverted baseball’s color line years before Jackie Robinson broke it, signing light-skinned Cubans—many of African descent—who could pass in the all-white Major Leagues. This first ever biography traces his memorable career, including the shady hiring practices and flamboyant deals that drew rulings from the bench of Kenesaw Mountain Landis.

About the Author(s)

Paul Scimonelli, retired teacher and musician, had a successful music career for more than 60 years. He has written numerous articles for music journals and his dissertation on the history of the Catholic University of America’s Benjamin T. Rome School of Music is a widely read resource in the university library’s database. He lives in Woodstock, Maryland.

Bibliographic Details

Paul Scimonelli
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 312
Bibliographic Info: 24 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8147-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4841-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface 1
Introduction 5
1. The American Dream 7
2. The 1920s: Blowing the Bugle 11
3. 1930–1935: From the Blue Ridge League to the NNL 17
4. 1935–1939: The Cuban Connection 47
5. 1940–1945: Washington at War 76
6. 1946–1949: When the Boys Came Back 125
7. 1950–1954: Keeping Them Competitive 145
8. 1955–1959: The Making of a Champion 182
9. 1960 and Beyond: A Career at Its Close 224
10. Griffith, Cambria, the Cubans and Race 241
11. The Good, the Bad, the Ugly 261
Epilogue 264
Appendix I: Selected Players Signed by Cambria 269
Appendix II: Chronology of Cambria’s Minor League Ownership 275
Appendix III: The Latin Senators 276
Chapter Notes 279
Bibliography 297
Index 299