Santiago, Ex-Negro Leaguer, Dies Aged 82
FROM: The International
Herald Tribune ~
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico
Carlos Manuel Santiago, a former star defensive infielder in Negro Leagues baseball, died Sunday in his Caribbean homeland. He was 82.
Santiago died of cardiac failure at his home in the western Puerto Rican city of Mayaguez, according to one of his two sons, Carlos Manuel Santiago Feliciano.
"He was a
great father to us, a citizen much
Santiago played second base and shortstop for the Negro National League's New York Cubans in 1945-46.
The Negro leagues existed from the late 1800s until the mid-1950s, providing a professional outlet for black players that were barred under an agreement among club owners from playing in the two leagues in Major League Baseball. After Jackie Robinson broke the "color barrier" in 1947, more blacks were signed by MLB teams and the Negro leagues faded.
Santiago never made it to the big leagues. He was invited to the Cleveland Indian's training camp in 1951, but was soon drafted into the U.S. Army and sent to Korea. He was honorably discharged as a sergeant about two years later.
During much of his retirement, Santiago worked as a baseball coach and scout. He was a general manager for three seasons at Puerto Rico's Mayaguez Indians club, where he got his start playing in 1944.
He was inducted into Puerto Rico's Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993.
Earlier this year, Santiago was among the former Negro Leaguers invited to attend a ceremonial draft organized by MLB.