From 1948-1950, the Havana Cubans continued to dominate the Florida International League, winning the flag each year to give them five in a row. Following the 1953 season, the team migrated to the prestigious Class AAA International League. Here, the Sugar Kings, as they were now known, culminated the decade with a playoff win in 1959. In the ensuing Junior World Series against the American Association champion Minneapolis Millers, the Sugar Kings prevailed four games to three. During the final two games, played in Havana, the gunfire of Castro’s revolutionaries added to the excitement. Halfway through the following season, with most foreign businesses in Castro’s control, Havana’s baseball team was moved to Jersey City, effectively ending Cuba’s participation in Organized Baseball.
After Castro’s revolution, some Cuban players left the country for good, some stayed in their native land. Of the 1947 Havana players who reached the majors, Moreno and Zardon settled in Miami, where Moreno died in 1987. Marrero, Rodriguez and C Luis Suarez remained in Cuba.
Today, with the emphasis on individual Cuban players such as Livan and Orlando Hernandez, it is important to remember the contributions of Cuban teams and players of the past. More specifically, to remember that one of these teams - the Havana Cubans of 1947 - was among the 100 best minor league teams of all time.
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