Category Archives: Baseball

Cuba assures its right to participate in the Americas’ pre-Olympic baseball competition

Baseball federations, prominent individuals and even international sports, together with public opinion, forced the Bush regime to allow Cuba to participate in the 2006 World Baseball Classic.

(May 27) – After weeks of delays, on the afternoon of May 25, the Cuban Baseball Federation (FCB) was notified of the emission of visas requested at the U.S. embassy in Havana for our national baseball team to travel to the state of Florida, to compete in the continental pre-Olympic tournament of the Americas, intent upon qualifying for the Tokyo Games.

“Cuba is grateful to all the institutions and individuals who, with good will and active interventions, contributed to overcoming the multiple obstacles to guaranteeing the participation of our national baseball team in the pre-Olympic in Florida,” stated Party Political Bureau member and Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla.

The FCB, for its part and in the name of millions of compatriots anxiously awaiting these games, also recognized the efforts of the World Confederation of Baseball and Softball, the Organizing Committee, the United States’ Olympic Committee and Baseball USA, for their support to “concretizing a right which is legitimately ours,” adding that the players will participate with “the dignity, team spirit and commitment to fair play which characterize the Cuban sports movement.”

The news was welcomed by players who have been waiting for this decision, which, as has been reiterated over the last few days, is imperative to realizing their aspiration to struggle for the dream of competing in

Cuba has scheduled training games with Nicaragua and subsequently the Dominican Republic, which are essential to fine-tuning details before the team’s first game of the tournament, with Venezuela as their rival.

Oscar Sánchez Serra, Granma

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Labour had its own baseball team a century ago. It defied racism

Meet three Longshoremen players who broke the sport’s colour line in Vancouver | TOM HAWTHORN


The ILA Longshoremen’s amateur baseball team pose with trophies at Powell Street grounds (Oppenheimer Park) on Aug. 20, 1920 | Stuart Thomson, City of Vancouver Archives.

On a pleasant late Friday afternoon in the summer of 1920, the best baseball players of the amateur city league gathered for a trophy presentation and an exhibition game. A temporary podium was placed atop the pitcher’s mound at the Powell Street Grounds (Oppenheimer Park) in Vancouver. A table draped in a Union Jack held three handsome trophies and a stack of boxes containing medals. Continue reading

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Cuban baseball: All out for development, but not at all costs

Baseball director addresses return of teams to the field for Cuba’s 60th National Series, and player eligibility for the season  | Oscar Sánchez Serra,

• Since August 1, ballplayers have been back on the field. As stipulated in the sports movement’s post-epidemic action plan, teams participating in the 60th National Series, which began September 12 also began training on that date. Continue reading

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Contracting of Cuban athletes abroad

The contracting of Cuban athletes in professional leagues abroad remains a priority, with a view toward positioning our players in top-level competitions, to gain experience and improve the country’s performance internationally

By Iris de la Cruz Saborit

(October 22) – In line with national policy intended to guarantee meeting the Cuban sports movement’s projections – especially in the Olympic cycle – and positioning our athletes in top-level competitions, the contracting of Cuban in professional leagues abroad remains a priority, but the performance achieved by our athletes has yet to be concretely expressed in Cuba’s international results. Continue reading

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From the Ottawa Valley to Cuba – the famous ‘Cubacan’ bats

OTTAWA- September 04, 2020 --From his basement woodworking shop in the Ottawa Valley, former car salesman Bill Ryan, 66, is turning out finely-crafted maple bats for Cuba's beleaguered baseball leagues. He wants Canadian tourists to help him supply Cubans with more bats. assignment 134421 Credit: Jean Levac/POSTMEDIA FOR: 0910 batmaker

From his basement woodworking shop in the Ottawa Valley, former car salesman Bill Ryan, 66, is turning out finely-crafted maple bats for Cuba’s baseball leagues | JEAN LEVAC /Postmedia

By Andrew Duffy, first published in The Ottawa Citizen

A retired Ottawa Valley car salesman is turning out hundreds of hand-made maple bats every year for Cuban baseball players as part of a decade-long effort to assist the impoverished island nation.

Bill Ryan, 66, spends 10 or 11 hours every day in his basement woodworking shop, making his now famous “Cubacan” bats. Continue reading

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Bats for Cuban baseball

CUBACAN 6060 APPEAL, Canadian Network on Cuba

To say the pandemic has had a huge impact on everyone is a gross understatement and this is true especially for Cuba with the cessation of its critical tourism economy.

When you add the strengthening of the illegal, 60-year blockade of Cuba by Trump, we have a very “imperfect” storm.

Cuba will need at least 600 baseball bats for the next National Series, which begins on September 12th, but because of the blockade and the Covid pandemic, are unable to afford them. They have asked Canadian friends to assist in their acquisition. Bill Ryan, a long time Canadian supporter of Cuban baseball has taken on the task of helping Cuba in this by making these bats with his simple lathe. Bill has made bats for Cuba in past and the Cubans believe that these bats are as good as any they’ve purchase elsewhere and at a fraction of what would otherwise cost over $75,000. Continue reading

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The world’s oldest baseball park is in Canada

Memorial Park in London, Ontario | Dave Chidley/CBC

London, Ont.’s Labatt Memorial Park has been around since 1877, and the Guiness Book of World Records recognizes the charming 5,200-seat stadium as the world’s longest continuously operating baseball grounds.

The streak looked like it might end at 143 years with the pandemic causing the cancellation of baseball seasons throughout Ontario, but a special exhibition game of Memorial Park’s main team, the London Majors, was organized to keep it intact.

The Majors Intercounty Baseball League (IBL) season remains cancelled due to the pandemic, but the Majors will take the field on Friday night to play the Guelph Royals in a matchup of IBL foes. Fans won’t be allowed in, but the game will be shown on local cable TV and on the Majors’ YouTube channel.

First pitch is at 7:35 p.m.

Read more about the effort to preserve the streak here.

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Now is a good time to start treating the Negro Leagues equally

Bryson DeChambeau's driver appears to bend as he hits a tee shot. (Getty Images)

There’s a more meaningful way than this for baseball to honour its Negro Leagues greats | Christian Petersen/Getty Images

By Jesse Campigotto

By the time Jackie Robinson broke MLB’s colour barrier in 1947 (after a cup of coffee in the Negro American League), most of the Negro Leagues had disbanded. The remaining ones followed as more of the best Black players joined Robinson in the bigs. The final so-called “Negro World Series” — between the champions of the Negro American League and the second incarnation of the Negro National League — was played in 1948. The Negro NL ceased to exist after that, leaving the Negro AL as the sole survivor. It technically kept going until 1962, but baseball historians believe it stopped being close to major-league quality around 1950, by which time the integration of MLB had cost the Negro AL much of its talent base — and thus its fan appeal. Continue reading

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MLB announces players will now be quarantined for 14 days between bases

The Onion

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COVID-19 hotspot breaks out at MLB youth baseball academy in Venezuela

The Roberto Vahlis youth baseball academy on Margarita Island, Nueva Esparta State has seen 41 cases of COVID-19 over the weekend. (@cristobnaranjo / Twitter)

The Roberto Vahlis youth baseball academy on Margarita Island, Nueva Esparta State has seen 41 cases of COVID-19 over one weekend | @cristobnaranjo / Twitter

By Paul Dobson

(April 20) – According to Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez on April 17, a COVID-19 hotspot broke out at the Roberto Vahlis youth baseball academy on Margarita Island, Nueva Esparta State [north east Venezuela], which, together with a nearby coastguard center, has seen 62 cases so far. Continue reading

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