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Emilio Sabourín was a prominent player and manager in Cuba in the 19th Century. He scored eight runs in Cuba's first professional game, played in December 1874. When the Cuban Winter League was formed in 1878-1879, Sabourín hit 5th and played second base for Habana in the first game. He was with Habana for every season played through 1887 - 1879-1880, 1882, 1882-1883, 1885, 1885-1886 (.304) and 1887 (0 for 15). He then became a manager, guiding Habana to titles in 1888-1889, 1889-1890 and 1892 (he also led the team in 1890-1891, when they did not win it all). Author Rob Ruck incorrectly identifies him as the founder of the Habana club and otherwise inflates his role in early Cuban baseball, which was still significant.
Off the diamond, Sabourín worked as a customs official. He also raised funds for the revolution against Spain. In 1896, he was arrested by Spain and sentenced to 20 years in forced detention. Shipped to Cueta in northern Africa, he died of pneumonia in prison on July 15, 1897. In 1941, he was posthumously inducted into the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame, part of the third class inducted (along with Regino García).
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