Louis Castro was not the only early twentieth-century baseball figure with Colombian origins. The Long Branch Cubans, who played in minor leagues and independently from 1913 to 1916, were owned by a New York physician named Carlos Louis Henriquez, and managed by his brother, Richard Anthony Henriquez (pictured right), also the team’s first baseman in 1913 and 1914.
Aside from Long Branch, the Cubans also based themselves at various times in Newark, Jersey City, Poughkeepsie, Harlem, and Newton, New Jersey. Especially when they were in Long Branch, a seaside resort town, they played a large number of exhibitions against major league teams, according to David Skinner compiling a record of 10-24 in these games. Most significantly, they helped funnel a number of players, including Adolfo Luque and Mike González, from the Cuban League to U.S. organized baseball.
Although the Henriquez brothers were usually assumed to be Cuban themselves, a number of records show a Colombian connection. In June 1886, about ten months after “Master Louis Castro” and his father Néstor arrived in New York, another family arrived on board the S.S. Niagara from Colombia (via Mexico and Cuba):
The family remained in the United States, appearing in the 1900 census, where the father, Louis N. Henriquez, and children are all born in the “U.S. of Columbia”; the children’s mother, who had passed away by now (Louis is widowed) is shown as born in Cuba.
In the 1910 census the brothers, both married now, are living together on W. 88th Street, the same address later given on some passenger lists by Long Branch Cubans players. Both give Colombia as their birthplace.
They filled out draft cards in 1918, only two years removed from the demise of the Long Branch Cubans. Unfortunately their cards did not ask for birth place. Both checked the space under “Citizen by Father’s Naturalization before Registrant’s Majority,” although Richard seems to have also written, below that, that he is a citizen of Colombia.
Both appeared in the 1920 census, Carlos as “Dr. Carl Henriquez,” listed for the first time as born in Cuba (his parents in South America). Richard’s census entry, on the other hand, is consistent with earlier records, showing born in South America, his father in South America and mother in Cuba). Both of Richard’s sons, one ten years old, the other “6 2/12” (to my eyes; Ancestry.com has recorded his age as 2 9/12), are listed as born in New Jersey.
The last sign of either brother I’ve found so far is Carlos in the 1930 census, living with in Yonkers, listing his employment as “none,” and supposedly born in New York. The names of his wife (“Jeannette”), son (“Carlo” or “Carlos”) and his mother-in-law, Cora Long, establish this as Carlos Henriquez. His name, however, is oddly given as “Henry Carlos Henriquez,” a strong indication that the information here is probably not entirely trustworthy.
The image of Richard Henriquez above is courtesy of David Skinner, but don’t blame him for the poor quality; I lifted it from a photocopied handout for his presentation on the L.B. Cubans.