Steve Bellán

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Esteban Enrique Bellán
born Estevan B. Bellan

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Biographical Information[edit]

Steve Bellán was the first Cuban-born (and Latin American) player to play in Major League Baseball. Before the National Association was founded in 1871, he played for Fordham University (where he attended in 1863-1868), the Unions of Morrisania, and the Troy Haymakers in their amateur days. Eventually, he went back to Cuba to become a player-manager for the Habana club there. He played in the first organized baseball game in Cuba and later led the Habana team to three championships.

The book Viva baseball! says his nickname was the "Cuba Sylph" (a sylph being a kind of nymph or spirit). He was a catcher in college, but developed a reputation as a good-fielding third baseman in the majors. His picture can be found here: Bellan. It has recently been discovered that Bellán played with a number of other Latin players in college and with amateur clubs before the National Association was founded in 1871. See Latin Players in the 1860s. Not much is known about Bellán's later life, although he apparently became a U.S. citizen in the 1870s and received a U.S. passport.

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