This may be old news to some, but I recently ran across this World War II draft registration card filled out in 1942 by Oliver Marcell, then living in Denver, Colorado, where he would pass away a few years later (in 1949).
This document is noteworthy for a few things. First, it adds still more evidence that his name was spelled “Marcell,” without the “e” at the end—here he clearly signs it that way, as he had on his World War I draft card and his U.S. passport application in 1920. Second, it adds evidence that he was taller than 5’9”, the common listing for him, showing him at 5’11 ½” (his passport application says 5’10”).
Last, there’s the note on the reverse that he had a “Scar on nose.” Marcell, as you probably know, was involved in a fight in Cuba in early 1930 with his Baltimore Black Sox teammate Frank Warfield. During the fight Warfield (whose nickname was “Weasel,” which might explain a lot) bit off a large chunk of Marcell’s nose.
Here’s how it was covered back in the U.S. (I haven’t checked Cuban coverage yet):
(Philadelphia Tribune, February 13, 1930, p. 10; this is a reprint of a story that appeared in the February 8 issue of the Baltimore Afro-American. I’ve used this version because the layout’s more convenient.)
The story after this was that Marcell, a bit vain about his looks, wore a patch over his injured nose and was too embarrassed to be seen in public, thus putting a premature end to his baseball career.
I don’t know about that. Yes, he left the Black Sox in 1930, which makes sense. Here’s Bill Gibson writing in the Afro-American (April 26, 1930; p. 14):
Gibson didn’t even think Marcell left because of the fight with Warfield—he argued he just wasn’t good enough anymore. He was, after all, 35 years old. But Marcell wasn’t through with baseball. He signed with the Royal Giants for 1930. In 1931 he served as player-manager of the Providence Giants, and in 1933 he co-managed the Wilmington Hornets of the Eastern Negro Baseball League, a minor circuit. As late as 1937, after he’d moved to Colorado, he can be found playing for semipro outfits. He may have been embarrassed by his appearance, but it didn’t drive him out of baseball.
(Marcell during the 1927/28 season, nose intact.)