MLB announces historic visit to Cuba

The U.S. Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) will embark on an historic goodwill tour in Cuba from Dec. 15th-18th. Hall of Famer Joe Torre, MLB’s Chief Baseball Officer, and Dave Winfield, the MLBPA’s Special Advisor to the Executive Director, will be joined by a group of current Major League players, who will be announced at a later date. 

The tour will mark MLB’s first visit to the island since the Baltimore Orioles played an exhibition game against the Cuban National Team in March 1999. The joint effort will consist of an opening press conference at Hotel Nacional, featuring Torre, Winfield and the participating players; children’s workshops at Havana’s Estadio Latinoamericano and Matanzas’ Victoria de Giron Stadium; and a charity event in conjunction with Caritas Cubana.

“Major League Baseball is very fortunate to have an opportunity to play a constructive role in the improvement of our country’s relations with Cuba, and it is particularly pleasing that our sport has a significant number of highly-decorated ambassadors who can make an impression both on and off the field,” said Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. who added that baseball represents a pivotal common bond in our cultures, and the impact that Cuban ballplayers have made on our game is undeniable. I am hopeful that this tour will represent the beginning of a longstanding relationship.

Built in 1946, Estadio Latinoamericano is by far the largest ballpark in Cuba, with a capacity of 55,000. The entire grandstand is covered, and there are open bleachers in the outfield. It is the home of Los Industriales and the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame | http://ballparkdigest.com/

Built in 1946, Estadio Latinoamericano is by far the largest ballpark in Cuba, with a capacity of 55,000. The entire grandstand is covered, and there are open bleachers in the outfield. It is the home of Los Industriales and the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame | http://ballparkdigest.com/

“The Major League Baseball Players Association is proud to be joining Major League Baseball on this history-making visit to Cuba,” said MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark. “The Players will be thrilled to visit a country that shares our passion and enthusiasm for the sport of baseball, and we all hope that this visit marks the beginning of a relationship that will only grow stronger – on and off the baseball field.”

Following is the complete schedule of events, subject to change:

Date

Time (ET)

Event

Location

Tuesday, December 15th

3:30 p.m.

Press Conference &
Media Availability

(Torre, Winfield & all participating players)

Havana’s Hotel Nacional

Wednesday, December 16th

10:00 a.m. -1:00 p.m

Children’s clinic

Havana’s Latinoamericano Stadium

Wednesday, December 16th

4:00 p.m.

Charity Event with

Caritas Cubana

TBD

Thursday, December 17th

10:00 a.m. -1:00 p.m

Children’s clinic

Matanzas’ Victoria de Giron Stadium

Also regarding this topic, it was known that over the holiday break at the end of the month, the University of Richmond baseball team will travel to Cuba and play 4 games against members of the Cuban Baseball Federation. With this historic trip, the Spiderswill be the first team in the Atlantic 10 to compete in Cuba.

Departing for Havana on December 15th and returning on the 23rd, the Spiders will tour Cuba’s western provinces, concluding with games against teams from San José de las Lajas, Artemisa, Pinar del Rio, and Matanzas. Between games, the team will have the opportunity to experience Cuban history and culture through tours, lectures, and joint community service projects with local Cuban baseball players.

“You get to take an international trip once every 4 years as a team and especially with this young group, I think it’s a great opportunity to bond and be together away from Richmond,” said Richmond head coach Tracy Woodson.

“We looked at the Netherlands, Germany and Spain, but this opportunity emerged with Cuba and we wanted to be one of the first to go there and play its teams and experience that level of play. The whole University is excited about this tour and supported our efforts to make it happen and we are very appreciative.

Current Univ. Richmond Prof. in the Department of Latin American, Latino and Iberian Studies, Dr. Dixon Abreu, a former professional baseball player himself, will accompany the Spiders on the trip to Cuba and serve as a de facto guide, historian, and interpreter for the team. He will help the team navigate the cultural, political and sporting elements of the nation.

Edited by Ivan Martínez, Radio Havana Cuba
Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s