Mike González – In The Game

Mike González died about when I was graduating from the great Miami Senior High. His name was familiar to me growing up because my father would mention his accomplishments as a Cuban in MLB with pride, along with his namesake, Adolfo Luque. One of the best pieces of advise I have heard and learned in life is about the need to ‘get in the game.’ Meaning, whatever it is you want to do, get involved in any capacity and then work your way up [or out, not all our initial ideas are good ones]. So while I have no idea how much González earned from baseball along the way, I am sure he was a success.

On September 24, 1890, Miguel Angel González (Cordero) was born in Havana, Cuba. He would die there 87 years later. Here are some of the things he accomplished in baseball along the way:

  • 1910 – Began playing winter baseball in the Cuban League
  • 1911 – Played “Negro baseball” with integrated teams from Cuba
  • 1912 – MLB debut for Boston Braves
  • 1929 – World Series appearance with the Chicago Cubs
  • 1932 – Appeared in last MLB game
  • 1934 – Joined the St. Louis Cardinals coaching staff under manager Frankie Frisch
  • 1938 – Became the first Cuban-born (and Latino) manager in Major League Baseball history
  • 1946 – Was the 3rd base coach when Enos “Country” Slaughter made his “Mad Dash” to win the World Series for the St. Louis Cardinals
  • 1950’s – Barnstormed through Cuba with fellow Cardinal, Stan Musial.
  • 1950’s – González is credited with contributing a lasting piece of baseball terminology. Asked by the Cardinals to scout a winter league player, González judged that the player was outstanding defensively but a liability as a batter. He wired back a four-word scouting report: “Good field, no hit.” That phrase is still in use today.
  • 1955 – Elected to Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame

Please also see the Encyclopedia of Baseball entry for Gonzalez.

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About Jorge Costales

- Cuban Exile [veni] - Raised in Miami [vidi] - American Citizen [vici]
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2 Responses to Mike González – In The Game

  1. John Q says:

    Jorge: hilarious etymological origin of “good field no hit”. . . rivals “bee bop bo ru”.

  2. Robert says:

    My grandfather used to tell me how Mike Gonzalez was the one that waved Enos Slaughter home. Books I've read on the 1946 WS indicate that Enos ran through Mike's stop sign. Don't know which one to believe, but I get the feeling Cuban pride may be at play in many Cubans thinking that Gonzalez urged Enos home.

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