clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

This Day in Reds History: Mike Gonzalez: One of the Reds' earlier Cuban imports

New, 23 comments

On this day in Reds history, former Red Mike Gonzalez died in Cuba.

Mike Gonzalez
Mike Gonzalez
Wikimedia.org

On this day in 1919, the Reds traded Hal Chase to the New York Giants for first baseman Walter Holke and catcher Bill Rariden.

Baseballdivider_medium_medium

On this day in 1977, former Red Miguel "Mike" Gonzalez died in La Habana, La Habana, Cuba at the age of 86. Gonzalez was one of the first Cuban players in the major leagues. He enjoyed a long career as a backup catcher from 1912 through 1932 with a few years off along the way. Gonzalez played for the Reds in 1914, hitting a paltry .233/.293/.267 (65 OPS+) in just under 200 plate appearances.

His success in baseball extended well beyond the majors as he appeared with several Negro League clubs and led Habana to 13 championships in the old Cuban League as a manager (some as a player-manager). The 1927-28 championship Habana squad featured Hall of Famers Martin Dihigo and Jud Wilson and several other Cuban stars of the era. After Gonzalez's big league playing career was over, he continued to return to the United States in the summer to coach for the Cardinals. He was the third base coach for St. Louis when Enos Slaughter had his mad dash around the bases in game seven of the 1946 World Series. Gonzalez also coined the term "good field, no hit" when he wired a telegram with those four words back to the Cardinals as a scouting report (Wikipedia, Catcher Term (sic)). The Cuban Revolution and the rise of Fidel Castro forced Gonzalez to remain in Cuba for the rest of his life, which sequestered him from the American game.

Baseballdivider_medium_medium

On this day in 2001, the Reds signed Deion Sanders.

Baseballdivider_medium_medium

On this day in 2008, former Reds general manager and president Bob Howsam died in Sun City, AZ at the age of 89. Howsam is best remembered as the engineer of the Big Red Machine.

Baseballdivider_medium_medium

On this day in 2012, the Reds signed Brett Tomko.

Baseballdivider_medium_medium

Badenjr earned two points last time while ams78 earned one. There are still two points available from last Wednesday's post. If you choose to answer either question (those pertaining to 1926 and 1956), please answer in the comments to this post.

1) Bob Howsam was part of a group of businessmen that attempted to start a third major league in the late 1950s. What was the name of this proposed league?