Memories of Winter Ball

Interviews with Players in the Latin American Winter Leagues of the 1950s


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About the Book

This is an oral history of the Latin American baseball leagues of the mid–20th century. Interviews with dozens of former major league players, who participated in the winter leagues of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico and Venezuela, provide a fascinating view of life in all of these countries during the most nostalgic era of baseball. For the majority of the players, it was the first time in their lives living in a foreign country; some of the more fortunate made trips to the Caribbean Series.
The players’ recollections range from their experiences on and off the field, to where they lived, what they ate, the ballparks, other players and irrepressible fans. The stories are often juxtaposed against the backdrop of Latin American political history, adding to the unique international flavor.

About the Author(s)

Lou Hernández is the author of several baseball histories. He resides in South Florida.

Bibliographic Details

Lou Hernández
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 272
Bibliographic Info: 63 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7141-6
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9300-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  vi

Preface  1

The Cuban Winter League

George Altman 5

Dick Brodowski 9

Dan Dobbek 15

Chico Fernández 19

Mudcat Grant 25

Buddy Hicks 33

Don Lenhardt 37

Minnie Miñoso 41

Billy O’Dell 46

Leo Posada 49

Ed Roebuck 56

Dick Schofield 62

Hal Smith 68

Bill Virdon 71

Tony Zardón 74

The Dominican Winter League

Fred Kipp 81

Norm Sherry 84

Bill White 90

Stan Williams 94

The Mexican League

Monte Irvin 104

Evans Killeen 111

The Nicaraguan Winter League

Joe Hicks 118

Jack Kubiszyn 122

Phil Regan 125

Dick Stigman 131

Jim Weaver 134

The Panamanian Winter League

Tony Bartirome 139

Jerry Davie 143

Dave Roberts 147

Dick Tracewski 153

The Puerto Rican Winter League

Pete Burnside 156

Cot Deal 160

Nino Escalera 164

Jack Fisher 169

Gene Freese 172

George Freese 175

Charlie Gorin 178

Jack Harshman 185

Earl Hersh 190

Félix Mantilla 193

Julio Navarro 198

Luis Olmo 201

José Santiago 205

Bob Smith 211

Jim Stump 214

The Venezuelan Winter League

Gary Blaylock 218

Billy DeMars 223

Ed Mickelson 227

Jack Spring 233

Gale Wade 237

Passing of an Era: Don Leppert  245

Bibliography  253

Index  255