Elected to the Hall of Fame by Negro Leagues Committee: 2006
Pitcher Jose Mendez was likely the first internationally known Cuban baseball star. The dark-complexioned Mendez, nicknamed Black Diamond, was noted for his blazing fastball and sharp curve. John McGraw and Pop Lloyd raved about Mendez's skill on the mound. The author of a 10-inning perfect game as a member of the Cuban Stars in 1909, his career spanned from 1908-26. As a player-manager with the Kansas City Monarchs, he led the Negro National League team to three consecutive pennants (1923-25).