Jose Mendez

  • Card series: Diamond Heads '15
  • City: Havana
  • Team: Stars of Cuba
  • League: Independent
  • Hall: Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame, National Baseball Hall of Fame

Jose de la Caridad Mendez (1887-1928) visited America from his native Cuba in 1908 and demolished the ML Cincinnati Reds and minor league all-stars from Florida. He was unbeaten, untied, and unscored upon. He allowed but a single to Miller Huggins in the 9th inning of his first game on US soil, and hurled a no-hitter in Key West. Ira Thomas, catcher for the 2-time world champion Athletics, compared Mendez favorably to Walter Johnson and said “he is a remarkable pitcher, and if he were a white man would command a good position on any Major League club in the circuits.”

  • Became a star in the Negro Leagues, leading the KC Monarchs to pennants in ’23, ’24, and ‘25
  • The Cuban “Black Diamond’s” career spanned 1908-26
  • Elected to the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame in its inaugural class: 1939
  • Elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame: 2006

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