BROOKLYN DODGERS, baseball team travels to Havana, Cuba in 1942 for
their spring training. They stay at the "swank" Hotel Nacional de Cuba in
El Vedado, and practice at the famous TROPICAL STADIUM ( Estadio Tropical).
Baseball in Cuba. Beisbol en Cuba.
Two players, Pee Wee Reese and Pete Reiser meet two cuban debutantes at the nightclub
for some chat and dancing. The girls will show them
how to dance THE RUMBA.
The BROOKLYN DODGERS of 1942 are as follows:
Manager: LEO DUROCHER.
Players: Dolph Camilli, Billy Herman, Pee Wee Reese,
Arky Vaughan, Charlie Dressen, Mickey Owen,
Joe (Muscles) Medwick, Pete Reiser, Cliff Dapper,
Ed (Rube) Albosta, Johnny Rizzo.
The photos are by famed photographer WILLIAM
VANDIVERT ( for Life Magazine) ( not for commercial
The music by the TRio Matamoros and Cuarteto
Maisi was very popular in Cuba and all over the world.
MUSICA CUBANA. SON CUBANO.
Magazine article of March 1942 provided these captions
concerning the photos of Willian Vandivert:
The Brooklyn Dodgers they practice and play hard at
spring training in Havana.
00:14-00:45 "The Dodgers quarter-million dollar infield
poses beneath a signboard outside Tropical Stadium.
Left to right: Dolph Camilli, Billy Herman, Peewee Reese,
and Arky Vaughan, recently obtained from the Pirates."
02:48 " On visit to school museum, usually mild-mannered
Dolph Camilli catches famous Dodger anything-for-a-gag
spirit apes stuffed gorilla to amuse admiring students.".
03:52-05:50: " With straw as bat, PeeWee Reese shows
two cuban debs how to bunt. Girls taught Reese and his
reluctant roommate Reiser how to rumba. Boys drank papaya juice."
05:56 " Shoes in hand, Peewee and Pete tiptoe down the hall to their room. Club is strict about midnight deadline,
often hires detectives to check on players night activities"
06:14-06:21 "Under elaborate mosquito nets, Peewee
and Pete usually sleep ten hours. Like rest of squad, they
have spacious ocean-front room at the swank Hotel
Nacional de Cuba."
07:40 "acting as judge on the finish line Larry MacPhail names catcher Mickey Owen the winner of mile and a half
race. Only five players on the squad could run entire distance. Owen won $25.-"
07:45 " Ed (Rube) Alborta right handed rookie pitcher from
Durham, N.C. farm club, does a turtle walk to limber up his
07:50 "Charley Gelbert, 36 year old shortstop, works
overtime on mat to loosen up his aging muscles"
07:55 " In a friendly wrestling match 160 lb. PeeWee
Reese is quickly overpowered by ox-like Fred Fitzsimmons
who weighs 200 lbs."
08:09 " Joe ('Muscles') Medwick hits a loud foul. He is
also called 'Ducky' and 'Showboat", cost $200,000 in
cash and players.".
08:16-08:21 " Popular Dolph Camilli is National League
home-run king. He has a large California ranch, private
plane, and five children.".
09:00 " Coach Charley Dressen puts Speed-Boys Reiser
and Reese through intensive sliding drill in sand pit.
Reese, lead-off man, topped the club in stolen bases
last season with ten."
11:20-11:33 " Larry MacPhail and Leo Durocher behind the
batting cage, watch Dodger rookies go through hitting
drill in Havana."
12:19 " most promising rookie, handsome Cliff Dapper
will be substitute catcher. He batted .277 with Hollywood
12:40 "Durocher exercises best vocal cords in baseball"
14:05-14:10 " unlocking 'Dodger' meat is daily routine for
hotel chef. At great cost MacPhail shipped 2,000 lbs of
best grade beef to Cuba because players demanded
quotes from the 1942 article on THE BROOKLYN DODGERS:
" Until the advent of Larry MacPhail in 1938, fans attended
Brooklyn baseball games to laugh at the Dodgers. Now
they go to laugh with them and incidentally to see baseball
played at its fastest , roughest, and best. Gone are the
empty-stand, stumble-bum days when the highlight of a
Dodger game was the tragicomedy of "Babe" Herman
stealing third with the base already occupied. Today the Dodgers are a million dollars worth of ballplayers,
cocksure champions of the National League, who last
year drew more paid spectators than any baseball team
in the world.....last fall MacPhail gave Brooklyn its first
winning in 21 years.".
"On this and following page LIFE shows the 1948 Dodgers,
who hope to repeat, working and playing themselves
into condition under balmy Havana skies.".
CERVECERIA TROPICAL /TROPICA:L STADIUM Havana
"los Blanco Herrera, principales accionistas de la Cristal, eran patrocinadores del deporte popular, inaugurando en l929 el Gran Stadium Tropical de la Avenida 4I en Marianao donde un año después, en l930, se celebrarían los II Juegos Centroamericanos."
"The stadium holds 28,000 and was built in 1929. Originally named Gran Stadium Cervecería Tropical (or familiarly, La Tropical)/