‘Exilio’ and collecting baseball cards

Once upon a time, a couple of Cuban kids in “el exilio” collected baseball cards. In fact, my brother still has most of them in a box. We hold on to them because they are memories of a time when we were new to the US and baseball is how we made friends and perfected our English.

Let us say happy birthday to Galen Cisco, who was born in Ohio on this day in 1936. I remember Cisco because of his name. After all, how many ballplayers are named Galen Cisco? I once asked my father whether Cisco was Spanish or something else. He didn’t know, but someone with a name like that did play in Cuba.

Galen broke with Boston in 1961 and joined the expansion Mets for the 1963 season. Cisco went 18-43 in 4 seasons but he pitched better than his record would indicate. After all, how often does a pitcher go 6-19 with a 3.62 ERA? Cisco retired after the 1969 season. He pitched for two expansion teams, the Mets of the NL and the Royals of the AL.

After his playing days, Cisco turned out to be a pretty good pitching coach for Toronto and developed young arms like Jimmy Key, Dave Stieb, Todd Stottlemyre, and David Wells.

Happy #87 Galen Cisco, one of my favorite baseball cards when new “cubanitos” in the US collected and traded them.

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