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Carlos Santiago, 82; Negro leagues star

By Frank Gaud Carrau
Associated Press / December 23, 2008
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SAN JUAN - Carlos Manuel Santiago, a star infielder in the Negro leagues during the 1940s, died Sunday. He was 82 and suffered cardiac failure at his home in Mayaguez, son Carlos Manuel Santiago Feliciano said.

Mr. Santiago played second base and shortstop for the New York Cubans in 1945 and 1946. He was invited to spring training by the Cleveland Indians in 1951 but was soon drafted into the US Army and sent to Korea.

This year, Mr. Santiago was among the former Negro leaguers invited to attend a ceremonial draft organized by Major League Baseball.

The Negro leagues lasted from the late 1800s until the 1950s, providing a professional outlet for black players. After Jackie Robinson broke the racial barrier in 1947, more blacks joined the majors, and the Negro leagues faded.

During much of his retirement, Mr. Santiago worked as a 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.

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