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Cuba Baseball

 

Baseball was introduced by the 1860’s to Cuba island by the Cuban students who went to the United States for further studies and the American sailors who anchored in the Cuban ports at that time. Nemisio Guillo was the first student in 1864 returning to the homeland bringing in his luggage the first bat and baseball after his studies in the Mobile, Alabama.

 

Afterwards two more Cubans, one of them being Ernesto, the brother of Nemisio Guillo, were sent to Mobile for further studies. The two Guillo brothers together with their friends of this period formed a club in the year 1868 the Habana Baseball Club. Their first important victory was against the sailors of an American ship which was docked in the Matanzas harbour.


Some time after, the war of Independence broke out and by 1869 baseball was banned within the Cuban territory. The ban provoked a migration of the best Cuban baseball players to the United States teams. The Spanish empire saw the mounting importance of this sport activity within the Cuban community as an insult as the Cuban citizens neglected attending bullfights which was an informal allegiance to the colonialist power and a legacy of the Spanish culture upon Cuba. Baseball due to the ban became a popular game thus symbolising freedom of the Cuban nation against the colonial rule.


The first official baseball match was held in Pueblo, Matanaz at Palmar del Junco pitch on December 27, 1874. The opposing teams were Club Matanzas and club Habana. It took four years to the Cuban baseball to organise itself and the Cuban league had three teams the Habana, Matanzas and Almendares evolving. The players, all white, were amateurs but soon developed to match international standards.

 

The Spanish –American War brought many opportunities to the Cuban baseball teams enabling them to play against American teams and by 1900 the teams of the Cuban League also admitted black players. By this time some of the top players of the Negro Leagues of Northern America came to play in Cuban teams and by 1920 some even come to spend all their winter season playing in Cuba with the Cuban baseball being at its best.

Cuban Baseball Federation regulates this sport in Cuba and holds National championships. In all provinces, baseball teams made up of amateur punctuate the life of the Cuban citizens as well as being part of their folklore. The Cuba National Baseball team is made up of amateurs as there are no professional players in Cuba and are affiliated to the Cuban National League.

Cuba Baseball


The players are recruited by national championships in the country. Since the 1992, Cuba has been participating in the summer Olympic Games. In the four games held they have won three gold medals and a silver one evolving in the high spheres of international baseball teams.

 
The Cuban team also played in 2006 World Baseball Classic against Japan and lost 10-6 in March 2006 placing them in a good position in the history of baseball world wide.

 

 

 

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