Friday, July 13, 2012

HOF Sketch Card Project: Cristobal Torriente

One of Cuba's first baseball stars, Cristobal Torriente was an outfielder in the Negro Leagues between 1912 and 1928 (he also played one game in 1932). A slugger who was a great pull hitter, Torriente was inducted into both the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame (1939) and the National Baseball Hall of Fame (2006).

I completed this sketch card in June 2012.

10 random facts about Cristobal Torriente:
  • Although stocky and bowlegged, he was considered a complete player during his career.
  • He starred as a center fielder for the Chicago American Giants from 1918 to 1925, leading the club to three consecutive Negro National League titles (1920 to 1922).
  • Aside from center field, he also played right field, second base, third base and pitcher.
  • During the winter of 1920 when, as a member of the Almendares club, he outplayed Babe Ruth on a barnstorming tour.
  • His love of the nightlife often led to disputes with team management officials. 
  • His lifetime batting average in the Negro Leagues was .335. 
  • While playing with the Kansas City Monarchs, he quit the team for a while due to a dispute with the owner over a lost diamond ring, and Torriente's alleged theft of the ring.
  • He died in New York City at age 44, after a long battle with alcoholism and tuberculosis.
  • After his death, his body was returned to Cuba for burial. 
  • He is considered the greatest Cuban position player of the first half of the 20th Century, and is arguably the greatest Cuban player ever.

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