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Cuban Baseball – Things You Did Not Know.

Cuban Baseball – Things You Did Not Know.

This is the second article on Caribbean baseball. The first one I mentioned the major countries that we hear a lot about namely: Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Mexico. In this piece I want to expose our readers to a little of the main Caribbean baseball country, Cuba.

Another Caribbean country that plays baseball like very few others is Cuba. Cuba is in many ways credited for the development of the sport throughout the Caribbean. Back in the 1800’s the younger Cubans were learning the sport from many American sailors who were stationed in Cuba. Cuba was going through its war of liberation from Spain and baseball among younger Cubans was their way of snubbing Spain.

The Cuban picked up the sport quickly producing some of the best players in baseball. Still today the legendary Martin Dihigo who started his career in the 1920’s is considered the “best player ever who never played in the major leagues.” Martin is the only player to be inducted in the American, Cuban and Mexican Baseball Halls of Fame, and is also in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela Halls of Fame.

Since the Negro leagues to today Cuba has contributed great players to the major leagues even though the US has an embargo against the island nation. Luis Tiant, Tony Perez, Tony Oliva, Mike Cuellar, Adolfo “Dolf” Lugue, Minnie Minoso, Camilo Pascual, Rafael Palmiero and Bert Campanaris to name a few.

Though Cuba does not play in the Caribbean Series (for political reasons that should be lifted soon) we all saw the talent of Cuban players in the first World Baseball Classic in 2006 where Cuba participated against some of the best players in the world and came in second place, losing to Japan 10-6.

Cuban Baseball   Things You Did Not Know.

A fan of Cuba at the 1st WBBC in 2006. (Photo Latino Sports)

Today though there is a blockade against Cuba we are seeing more and more Cuban players in the major leagues and their impact is being felt as this years American League Rookie of the year went to young 21 year old Rookie phenon, José Fernández of the Marlins and another Cuban Dodger rising phenon, Yasiel Puig was not far behind.

I strongly believe that just as Cuba was the dominant Latin country with the most Latinos in baseball in the first half of the last century, if and when the embargo is lifted, Cuba will once again be the country with the most Latino players in Major league Baseball.

For those of you who do not know too much about Cuban baseball below is the standing as of last week of Cuba’s 16 baseball teams.

Cuban Baseball Standings

All Vs. All / 53rd Nacional Baseball Series 2013-2014

From November 3rd to December 29th they will play the first phase of Cuban baseball for a total of 45 games per team of which the first 8 teams will qualify for the next round.

Present standings

Todos contra todos

W

L

AVE

DIF

GU

HomeRec. 

Away Rec.

CA

CP

CDIF

Industriales 7 3 .700 - -1 3 – 1 4 – 2 47 21 +26
Holguin 8 4 .667 - +1 5 – 1 3 – 3 48 38 +10
Matanzas 7 4 .637 0.5 +1 3 – 0 4 – 4 48 33 +15
Villa Clara 7 4 .637 0.5 +3 4 – 1 3 – 3 52 49 +3
Mayabeque 7 5 .584 1 -1 2 – 1 5 – 4 58 76 -18
Santiago de Cuba 7 5 .584 1 +1 5 – 4 2 – 1 48 43 +5
Pinar del Rio 7 5 .584 1 +1 3 – 3 4 – 2 42 31 +11
Ciego de Avila 7 5 .584 1 -1 5 – 1 2 – 4 57 38 +19
Guantanamo 6 6 .500 2 +2 4 – 2 2 – 4 67 61 +6
Artemisa 6 6 .500 2 -2 6 – 3 0 – 3 36 44 -8
Granma 5 7 .417 3 -3 2 – 4 3 – 3 62 62 0
Isla de la Juventud 5 7 .417 3 +1 5 – 4 0 – 3 39 63 -24
Las Tunas 4 6 .400 3 +1 1 – 2 3 – 4 35 38 -3
Camaguey 4 8 .334 4 -1 3 – 6 1 – 2 50 61 -11
Santi Spiritus 4 8 .334 4 -1 2 – 4 2 – 4 40 55 -15
Cienfuegos 2 10 .167 6 -1 1 – 2 1 – 8 42 58 -16

Guess how many Cubans are playing in major league baseball and win a rare collectible pack of Cuban baseball cards. Write your answer in the comments section below.

Cuban Baseball   Things You Did Not Know.

These are very rare collectible Cuban cards. The only ones made after the revolution. (Photo Latino Sports)

About Julio Pabón

Julio is President and Founder of Latino Sports Ventures Inc., the parent company of Latinosports.com. Julio is a product of the South Bronx where he still lives and runs his businesses. Julio has written and has been interviewed for numerous publication and networks on sports & political issues. He has been an activist promoting social justice and respect for all communities. He is a recognized motivational speaker was an adjunct professor of American History and presently teaches a volunteer course in a local South Bronx High School on Careers in Sports. His primary goal is to make Latinosports.com a multi-facet sports portal that will engender social and economic empowerment to the Latino community. However, if asked he states that his greatest achievement is his children and grand children.
  • Jorge Gonzalez

    buenisimo analisis.

  • Sandy Rivera

    Lets have Cuba in the Caribbean World Series! Some of the best baseball in the world are in this World Series! Wow what a series!

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