Merito Acosta

  • Series: Diamond Heads '15
  • City: Washington, D.C.
  • Team: Senators
  • League: American League
  • Hall: Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame

Baldomero Pedro Acosta Fernandez (1896-1963) began playing winter ball in his native Cuba in 1913 and debuted the same year with the Washington Senators as one of the first of his countrymen to play in MLB. As a sixteen-year-old that spring, The Sporting Life had heralded the young Cuban as “a second Ty Cobb.” That lofty promise went unfilled in American ball, as Merito played part time in the outfield, only making 200+ plate appearances twice with Washington. He finished his major league career in 1918 with the Philadelphia Athletics where he logged his best year at bat, hitting .302. Acosta was part of two remarkable feats in his career: in 1915 he and Chick Gandil walked, were sacrificed along and Gandil scored on a sac fly to record a rare run without an official at-bat in the inning. In 1919 with Havana, the fleet-footed center fielder accomplished an unassisted triple-play, racing to second after the catch to tag the bag and the runner coming from first. Acosta found a new home with the Louisville Colonels of the minor league American Association from 1919-28.

  • In 1922/23 Acosta was named manager of a new Cuban franchise in Marianao and led them to the championship
  • Elected to Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame: 1955

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Grover Cleveland Alexander

  • Series: Diamond Heads '15
  • City: Philadelphia
  • Team: Phillies
  • League: National League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Grover Cleveland Alexander (1887-1950) earned his plaque in the Hall of Fame on the strength of his strong right arm & an indomitable spirit. The battered WWI vet fought German mustard gas, epilepsy-inducing artillery, PTSD-induced alcoholism and opposing hitters, all with honor and distinction. It is impossible to know the record he would have achieved but for the interruption of war.

  • Led the NL in ERA 1915, ‘16, ‘17, ‘19, and ‘20. Led GIs into battle in ‘18
  • Said of his induction into the HOF: “the greatest treat and one of the biggest thrills” of his life
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1938

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