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In early Nov., the Detroit Tigers received an invitation to visit Havana, Cuba, for a 12 games series of games. The Tigers had gone there the previous Nov., 1909, and lost 4-8 to the Havana black team, which was strengthened by a few US black superstars of the Negro L. The Tigers had lost before, and this time asked Cobb to join them, so they could win their series this time. So, those mean-spirited Tigers of 5 wks. ago, now were asking Cobb for a favor.
Although Ty initially refused on racial grounds, he relented when the Cuban promoters added a $1,000. bonus for him. "I broke my own rule for a few games." Ty went down there, but missed the 1st 5 games. When he arrived, the Tigers were 3-3-1 with the blacks.
With Ty, they finished the series at 7-4-1. With Ty, they did 4-1.
I can't see how saying Josh Gibson is one of the top-3 catchers ever (with Bench and Berra)...
You know damn well that there's no way (for instance) to prove that Ty Cobb was greater than Oscar Charleston, not in the same way you can prove that Barry Bonds was greater than Ken Griffey Jr.
The Yankees had some very nice pitching during Berra's career as a starting catcher, including a lot of guys who improved markedly upon joining the Yankees. I'm inclined to give Berra a lot of credit for that.
I have no strong opinion on these issues, but it strikes me there's interesting contemplation in this: let's say segregation of baseball had persisted till 1970 (ludicrous, but it's just "let's say"). We'd have a full major-league line for Mickey Mantle, and he'd have had somewhat weaker competition. (There weren't many great black AL players during Mantle's career, but with more jobs for star white players in the NL, the AL would have been some small amount weaker.)
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