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Havana Cubans Washington Senator's super scout Joe Cambria was the founded the team. They joined the Florida International League in 1946 playing at the La Tropical Stadium in Havana. Bobby Maduro then bought the team and moved it to the Gran Stadium. In 1947 the team won its first of 4 straight Florida International League titles. Affiliated with the Washington Senators the team had on its roster several future Major Leaguers like Conrado Marrero, Julio Moreno and Sandy Consuegra.

Cuban Sugar Kings Bobby Maduro moved the team to the Triple-A International League in 1954. The team became affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds and several of its players made the leap to the majors: Tony Gonzalez, Cookie Rojas, Leo Cardenas and Mike Cuellar. The Sugar Kings reached the playoffs in 1955 and won the Minor League World Series in 1959. Due to the political situation in Cuba the team was moved to New Jersey in 1960.

The year 1959 saw one of the most bizarre post-season series of all time, as the Sugar Kings hosted the Minneapolis Millers in the Little World Series, With Fidel Castro and his troops present on the field in Havana's Gran Stadium. Allegedly, in a game after a Cubans loss, Fiedel Castro paced along the Millers dugout fingering his revolver and said, Tonight, we win to the terrified Minneapolis players.

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