On November 29th we remember a couple of Cubanos who were icons, one in music and the other in baseball.
On the musical front, Ernesto Lecuona, the greatest Cuban composer of the 20th century, died on this day in 1963. His story is one of music and more music. He was born on August 6, 1895 in Guanabacoa, near Havana. We remember him for “Malaguena”, “Siboney,,” “Always in My Heart,” “Andalucia,” and so many others.
On the baseball front, Saturnino Orestes Armas (Arrieta) Miñoso was born in El Perico, Cuba, a town near La Habana, on this day in 1925. He learned to play ball in the sugar cane fields. Orestes made his debut in 1948 with Cleveland but became a regular in 1951 with the Chicago White Sox. From 1951 to 1961, “The Cuban comet,” as he was known, was one of the most consistent hitters in the American League. He led the AL in triples 3 times, once in hits, and 4 times in stolen bases. Overall, he retired with a .298 career batting average and 1,963 hits. His average dropped under .300 because of his last 3 years when he was no longer the same hitter. The great “Miñoso” died in 2015 and remains one of the most popular players in White Sox history.