The Sugar Kings and ‘el beisbol se fue de Cuba’

Once upon a time, there was a team in Cuba: The Havana Sugar Kings of the AAA International League.

Back in April 1954, 25,000 fans showed up to watch the Sugar Kings battle the Toronto Maple Leafs in the opening game of the International League season. Montreal was another team in that league represented by cities in 3 countries: the US, Canada and Cuba. Future major-leaguers like Leo CardenasMike Cuellar and Cookie Rojas played in those Havana teams.

In the late 1950’s, as the owners were seriously looking at expansion, there was a lot of talk about putting a major league team in Havana.  It’s an important economic as well as baseball point. In other words, Havana was seen as a city with the potential of supporting a major league team in the future. It definitely proved it’s worth supporting a AAA franchise.

Instead, the Sugar Kings were moved to Jersey City in July 1960.    The political situation changed and “beisbol se fue de Cuba”.

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