American Blackball Stars, Cuban Winter Ball, and NPR

A recent Miami auction brought a winning $40,000 bid for a rare complete set of 1924-25 Aguilitas baseball cards featuring a number of top North American blackball stars. The news of this sale has again stimulated interest in the story of American blackballers performing in Cuba during the first quarter of the 20th century. The price tag on this memorabilia might raise several questions among the general public, especially the nearly $9,000 fetched for the card of Oscar Charleston (pictured below) alone. What were these Americans doing in Cuba in the first place, and why such a high value placed on the worn cardboard images of athletes who never even played in the major leagues? This issue is discussed on NPR’s “All Things Considered” Sunday Edition (5-6 pm, June 13, 2010) during my interview with host Guy Raz. The full interview can be heard (or later downloaded) on the following internet link:

869Charleston.jpgThe original Miami Herald story cover details of the auction for this card set can also be located at:



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