I have run across another reference to Luis Padrón as “Luigi.” Although Padrón is an old Spanish surname, it would seem a solid possibility that he came from an Italian family, or had Italian connections of some sort. In the North American press, Padrón’s name was commonly spelled “Padrone,” probably because that word was commonly used in coverage of Italian immigrant communities. So when you run searches for “Padrón” in early 20th century U.S. newspapers, you come up with dozens, even hundreds of hits, almost all about Italians.
On Carlos Morán: I looked up the 1911 photo in La Lucha I referred to in the Padrón post. On the microfilm it’s dark but fairly clear; the anticlimax is that Morán’s slightly turned, with his left side toward the camera, and his right hand hidden behind his waist. He doesn’t have a glove on his left hand, but you can’t see the other hand at all.
Padrón is actually pictured right next to him. He has his arms folded across his chest, with no glove. So those particular photos are no help in determining their handedness. They are also too dark to scan and post here. The trip from old newsprint to microfilm to photocopy to scan is just too much for many photographs. The photo of Padrón holding his bat righthanded is actually quite clear on the microfilm (and the “HP” is unmistakable on his cap), but after scanning, it comes out looking like my dog chewed it up.
There’s a photo reproduced on page 49 of Mark Rucker and Peter Bjarkman’s beautiful book of Cuban baseball photographs, Smoke. It shows, according to the text, Opening Day, 1908, Fe vs. Almendares (January 1). Oddly, when I was looking at this the other day, the folder for that season was sitting open on my desk—with that very game on top!
(click to enlarge)
Pitching for Almendares that day was José Muñoz. Based on the very few photographs I have seen of him, the figure rearing back on the mound looks somewhat too portly (though I suppose you could be misled by a baggy uniform). That would mean Fe is in the field. Their pitcher was the very obscure African-American John Davis, the Philadelphia Giants’ workhorse during their 1907 Havana trip. It’s kind of cool to think that, as little as we know of this man, here might well be a photo of him in mid-windup.
Fe’s shortstop was Felix “Dick” Wallace, who would later captain/manage the St. Louis Giants, among other teams. The second baseman was Simón Valdés, a regular for several Cuban teams during this period. And Fe’s third baseman was none other than Carlos Morán—except that the photograph is cropped just short of third base. No chance to see which hand his glove was on. (His brother, Francisco, a.k.a. “Pancho,” was Fe’s catcher that day.)
You really can’t be certain it’s Fe in the field, though. Although the photo’s a bit clearer on the page than in the scan, these are still awfully small, blurry figures. And you can’t actually see the gloves on the infielders’ hands, anyway.
Oh, one more note: I see that Figueredo’s Who’s Who in Cuban Baseball lists the mysterious “J. Padrón” of the 1915/16 Almendares club as throwing and batting right-handed.