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July 9, 2008

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Larry

I have a postcard on eBay item # 290450583575 of Irvin and Dandridge dated 1942 in Mexico City. From Monte Irvin's personall collection. I posted it 7/2/10, take a look. Thanks Larry tampabay-cards

Cesar Gonzalez Gómez

To my belief, there was a blacklist.
In the winter 1946-47 there was a fracture in the Cuban League. Two leagues were formed, the Liga de la Federación with the "clean" players, mostly Major Leaguers or aspiring Major Leaguers (american and cuban blacks, and white cubans) who didnt want any relationship with Pasquel and Mexico, and the other one, the Liga Cubana, with the more than 45 Cuban players that played in Mexico, the majority of Negro Leaguers, and all the Major League jumpers.
This was because of the blacklist. There was a common belief that if you played in Mexico or against "contaminated" players, you were not eligible for Organized Baseball.
There were other examples of black talented players, young enough to play in the Majore Leagues who evaded Mexico to keep themselves clean. Silvio Garcia, was a super star in Mexico for 6 seasons, but in 1946 he didnt return, he preferred to stay in the Negro Leagues and in Cuba he played for the "clean" leagues. Claro Duany, black Cuban, won 2 batting titles in the Mexican League in 45 and 46, then dissappeared from Mexico to play in the Negro Leagues and Canada. In Cuba he played for the "clean" leagues in those years. He wouldn't return to Mexico until 1950.
The blacklist became an effective way to asphyxiate Jorge Pasquel. The Cuban League signed an agreement with Organized Baseball in 1947 and banned all the players, Cuban or American, who were playing in Mexico, while the young Negro Leaguers whose normal course of action was to come to Mexico in earlier years, where then staying in the Negro Leagues with a Major League aspiration. Examples like Larry Doby, Sam Jethroe, Don Newcombe or Hank Thompson.
I don't know if there was an official blacklist, but all the information points that way.
An interesting fact on this topic is that Bobby Avila, the best Mexican player of that era, signed with Organized Baseball in 1948 and appeared with the Cleveland Indians in 1949. There was no punishment for him, even though he played in the Mexican League and the "contaminated" leagues in Cuba.

I wrote something about this interesting topic for the Mexican Hall of Fame some years ago. You can read it (in Spanish) here:
http://www.salondelafama.com.mx/salondelafama/beisbol/articulo.asp?n=63

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