adventures in baseball archeology: the negro leagues, latin american baseball, j-ball, the minors, the 19th century, and other hidden, overlooked, or unknown corners of baseball history...with occasional forays into other sports
This Harlem address was listed on the World War I draft cards of at least 11 Cuban Stars players (Evelio Calderín, Pelayo Chacón, Julián Fabelo, José María Fernández, Rogelio Hernández, Agapito Lázaga, Alejandro Oms, Juan Padrón, Ramiro Ramírez, Francisco Rivas, and Julio Rojo), plus that of Alex Pompez himself.* The house was next door to the former home (13 W. 131st) of Philip A. Payton, Jr., a black real estate mogul known as the “Father of Harlem.” This New York Times article from 1991 about Payton’s “Victorian Gothic row house” includes a couple of references to No. 11. Apparently the Pompez/Cuban Stars house was by 1938 “a vacant shell” and by 1944 “a vacant lot,” one that by 1991 had expanded to include the lots at No. 7 and No. 9 as well.
Taking a cue from Scott Simkus and looking at Google Maps, it appears that those lots are not vacant anymore. The house numbers are too blurry to read, but it’s easy enough to ascertain that the Harlem Pentecostal Assembly shown here is located at 12 W. 131st St., so the Payton house at No. 13 and the former location of the Pompez house at No. 11 would presumably be across the street.
*-Patrick Rock originally found many of these Cuban players’ draft cards.