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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 2/7/2020
Historic original photograph from when the Rochester Red Wings traveled to Cuba to play baseball as the last American team to play a regulation game in Cuba. The 9.5 X 8 photograph pictures Cuba’s biggest baseball fan, Prime Minister (President) Fidel Castro with Cuba’s Sports Commission Director, Cuban pitcher Orlando Pena, Rochester Manager Clyde King and Red Wings President Frank Horton. The Red Wings were the last American baseball team to visit Cuba before the US embargo went into effect during the Cuban missile crisis. It was during July one year earlier, the Red Wings traveled to Havana to play the Havana Sugar Kings who were a member of the International League and farm club of the Cincinnati Reds. Before the game Fidel Castro staged an exhibition game between a team of his supporters and a team of military police with Castro pitching two innings. The game stretched into extra innings, extending beyond midnight into July 26 - the date celebrated as the beginning of the Cuban Revolution. This was to be Cuba’s first July 26 celebration. The Cuban anthem began to play as weapons inside and outside the stadium began firing. As reported in a 2014 article in the Democrat & Chronicle, one stray bullet struck Red Wing infielder Frank Verdi. ‘...”Then I saw the bullet on the ground,” Verdi recounted “It was a good size, a .45. It However once hit me right in the side of the head and took part of my ear off, then hit me in the shoulder. It really didn’t bother me until an hour later, when I started to think about what happened. Hell, bullets were falling out of the sky like hailstones that night.”’ At that point the rest of the Sugar Kings homestand was cancelled. “Havana shortstop Leo Cardenas was not so lucky. A bullet struck him in the right shoulder blade a few minutes later. At that point both teams fled the field. The game ended in a tie.” The Democrat & Chronicle headline from July 27, 1959 read “Nightmare in Havana - Wings in Real Danger.” It was only after an Official apology was offered by Cuba that the Red Wings resumed travel to Cuba as depicted in this photograph. Once the US embargo went into effect in October 1960 no American team would visit Cuba again until the Baltimore Orioles traveled to play an exhibition game against the Cuban national baseball team. The Rochester Red Wings remain as the last American ball club to play in a regulation game in Cuba. 9.5 X 8. Excellent condition. Comes with a Gotta Have Rock & Roll™ Certificate of Authenticity.
Fidel Castro Opening Day Original Baseball Photograph Rochester Red Wings at Havana April 20, 1960
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $100
Final Bid: $100
Estimate: $200 - $300
Number of Bids: 1
Auction closed on Friday, February 7, 2020.
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