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Old 06-05-2018, 02:42 PM
Tay1038 Tay1038 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 294

1959 Minneapolis Millers vs. Havana Sugar Kings Junior World Series Program

This is one program I absolutely adore and likely one of the rarest in my collection today. Not only is this one of the earliest Millers programs to feature Carl Yastrzemski in the lineup, but from one of the most exciting Junior World Series – if not the most bizarre! Not only were two contests, including the decisive seventh game, decided in the last of the ninth inning and another two in extra innings, but it was the only Junior Series in which the submachine guns outnumbered the bats.

The 1959 Junior World Series was the 43rd meeting between the champions of the American Association and International League. The Minneapolis Millers had won the American Association playoffs for the second straight year, while the Havana Sugar Kings won the International League's Governors' Cup for the first time. The Millers, a Boston Red Sox farm team managed by Gene Mauch, were the defending Junior World Series champions, and were making their third appearance in the minor-league classic in the last five years.

Minneapolis was bolstered by the recent addition of a young second baseman named Carl Yastrzemski, who had joined the team during the Association playoffs. Havana, on the other hand, had finished the previous season at the bottom of the International League standings. In 1959, though, they rose to third during the regular season and then upset Columbus and Richmond in the playoffs for a berth in the Junior Series. Managed by Preston Gomez, the Sugar Kings roster was comprised of a mixture of Latin and American players, several of whom would go on to respectable careers in the major leagues, including pitchers Mike Cuellar and Luis Arroyo and infielders Leo Cardenas, Elio Chacon, and Cookie Rojas.

The series opened at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, Minnesota. The first three games were to be played in the Millers’ home park, but a premature blast of wintry weather brought an early close to their end of the series. Due to the cold temperatures, only 2,486 fans showed up for Game 1. As the weather grew colder the next day, the attendance dwindled to 1,062 for Game 2. It was on this day that a local newspaper correspondent snapped a photo showing a trio of Sugar Kings huddled around a fire they had built in a wastebasket in the dugout. By Game 3 the thermometer reading plummeted even further and not only was that evening’s game called off, but the decision was made by the minor-league commission to shift the balance of the series to Havana.

In Havana, nearly 3,000 soldiers were at the stadium during the game, many lining the field and others stationing themselves in the dugouts, their rifles and bayonets clearly evident. “Young people not more than 14 or 15 years old were in the dugout with us, waving their guns around like toys,” recalled Millers pitcher Ted Bowsfield. “Every once in a while, we could hear shots being fired outside the stadium, and we never knew what was going on.”
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Minneapolis Millers & St. Paul Saints Game Used Bats, Uniforms & Memorabilia

Last edited by Tay1038; 06-06-2018 at 02:34 PM.
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