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Martín Dihigo

Baseball Player
Date Of Birth:
25 May 1906
Date Of Death:
20 May 1971
Place Of Birth:
Matanzas, Cuba
Best Known As:
The Cuban baseball star known as "The Immortal"

Name at birth: Martín Magdaleno Dihigo Llanos

Cuban Martín Dihigo was a professional baseball player from the 1920s until the 1950s, and is the only player to be inducted into the Halls of Fame in Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela and the United States. In his home country, Dihigo was a legend -- "The Immortal" -- and considered the best all-around baseball player in their history. He began his career in 1923 in Cuba, at first showing prowess as an infielder. Because he was a dark-skinned Cuban, he was only allowed to play in the Negro leagues in the United States; his name was almost unknown to North American fans until he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1977. He excelled as an infielder, outfielder, pitcher and hitter, in the U.S. and in winter league games in Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Later in his career he played in Venezuela (he was also known as "El Maestro"). Dihigo was at his peak in the late 1930s, a dominant pitcher and hitter, a popular player with fans and teammates and, in Mexico, a winning team manager. He played nearly all positions during his career and retired in Cuba in 1948. After retirement, he was a radio announcer in Cuba, but fled the country in 1952 after the coup by Fulgencio Batista. Dihigo returned after Fidel Castro took power in 1959 and served for a time as a government functionary, the Minister of Sports.

Extra Credit:

Martín Dihigo played in the Negro leagues from 1923 to 1936. In 12 seasons, his batting average was .307… In 1938, he won the Mexican batting title with an average of .387 and went 18-2 as a pitcher.

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