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.