Fidels Affect on Cuban Baseball

Essay by schatzie97High School, 10th gradeA-, May 2008

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Cuban Baseball

In the 1860's, baseball was brought to Cuba by American sailors who were visiting the country. For the next century and a half, baseball would play a major role in Cuban culture and government. The game has stayed relatively the same, yet the role it plays in Cuban life has increased greatly. Now Cubans have a huge love for the game. This love began to increase once Fidel Castro came to power. Fidel Castro's influence over Cuban baseball has enabled their program to become a force to be reckoned with worldwide.

Once Baseball came to Cuba it became very popular and within seven years the first official recorded game was played. It was between two provinces, Havana and Matanzas. It was a blowout in Havana's favor as they won 51-9. Shortly thereafter, in 1878, the Professional Baseball League of Cuba was created. This made it the second oldest league only coming after the MLB.

Baseball in Cuba had many technical aspects to it. The first bunt was use in 1879, almost 20 years before it would be used in the US.� The Popularity of Baseball in Latin America spread as Cuba introduced the game to Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic between 1890 and 1891. This widespread popularity eventually led to the creation of the Caribbean Series in 1948. This is a round robin tournament between the countries still exists today, although it was taken away for a while once Fidel Castro came to power.

In 1959, when Fidel Castro came to power, baseball in Cuba changed dramatically. The first thing Castro did to sports was implement the abolishment professional athletics. He replaced the professional league with an amateur league which made baseball in Cuba about the love of the game instead of money. Castro had always...