Few heads of state have shown as much interest in baseball as Fidel did, pitching and batting himself, celebrating the victories and suffering the defeats | Sigfredo Barros Segrera
(December 7) – It was hard times, in January of 1962. The Revolution was struggling against internal and external enemies who threatened its very existence. The Cuban people defeated one attempt after another to return the country to the past, under the undisputed leadership of Fidel Castro Ruz.
Amidst so many responsibilities as head of the nation, Fidel always found a few moments to devote to sports, which had already begun a transformation the previous year, to become an activity enjoyed by the people on a massive scale. Continue reading →
Cuba’s national baseball team is in Canada from June 9 – 19 to play 10 games against the three Canadian teams in the Can-Am professional baseball league. All games will count towards Can-Am League standings. After its games in Canada, the Cuban team will play a further nine games against the three Can-Am teams based in the U.S. A final match will take place July 2 in Trois‐Rivières, Quebec between Cuba and the Japanese team Shikoku Island League All-Stars, who are playing regular season games against Can-Am teams at the same time as the Cuban team. Continue reading →
On April 2, 1931, during an exhibition game between the minor-league Chattanooga Lookouts and the New York Yankees, 17-year-old pitcher Jackie Mitchell found herself facing Babe Ruth.
She struck him out in four pitches. “I had a drop pitch,” she said, “and when I was throwing it right, you couldn’t touch it.”
The New York Times reported that Ruth “flung his bat away in high disdain and trudged to the bench, registering disgust with his shoulders and chin.”
“I don’t know what’s going to happen if they begin to let women in baseball,” he told a Chattanooga newspaper. “Of course, they will never make good. Why? Because they are too delicate. It would kill them to play ball every day.”
utfielder Yasmany Tomas #27 of Cuba hits a three run home run in the top half of the sixth inning during the World Baseball Classic Second Round Pool 1 game between Chinese Taipei and Cuba at Tokyo Dome on March 9, 2013 in Tokyo, Japan | Koji Watanabe/Getty Images AsiaPac
By PETER C BJARKMAN*
March 10, 2013 (from Tokyo, Japan) – FOR THE SECOND TIME in seven years Team Cuba now sits poised to pull off a World Baseball Classic “miracle run” designed once more to underscore the true quality of post-aluminum-bat and post-amateur-era island baseball. It now all comes down to one final rematch on Monday night with either the Dutch or Japanese (it will be the Jaanese– ed.) – this time with a trip to San Francisco as the ultimate prize. One more victory and Cuba will join Japan and Korea as the only three clubs so far to reach the final championship round of the MLB Classic on multiple occasions. Continue reading →
(March 9, 2013 from Tokyo, Japan) – IF TEAM CUBA at least temporarily dispelled one myth in Fukuoka on Wednesday (that they could perhaps never learn to hit funky Japanese pitching), they nonetheless failed miserably on Friday afternoon to dismiss yet another pervasive theme (that their new insurmountable hurdle seems to be the talent-rich forces of the Dutch national team). In Panama in September 2011 a Cuban squad managed by Alfonso Urquiola went down harmlessly twice against the Dutch forces (their only two tournament defeats) and thus squandered an opportunity to reclaim an IBAF world title during the final edition of the now-suspended Baseball World Cup. In a Taiwan tune-up late last month Cuban bats were again effectively blanketed by Dutch pitching. At the 2010 Haarlem Baseball Week a Cuban B squad managed by Germán Mesa suffered through the only “mercy rule” drubbing (10-0) suffered by a top-level Cuban outfit in more than four full decades. In brief, The Netherlands (now featuring a host of young big league prospects like Kalian Sams, Andrelton Simmos and Jonathan Schoop) has recently become just as large a thorn in the Cuban side as have the two-time WBC champion Japanese. Continue reading →
Canada’s Pete Orr, left, throws over the sliding Mike Costanzo of “Italy” to complete a double play during the fifth inning of Canada’s 14-4 opening loss at the World Baseball Classic. Christian Petersen/Getty Images
PERHAPS Canada should stick to lacrosse and ski cross. While Mexico soundly defeated Team USA 5-2, a second US team posing in the uniforms of the Azzuri drubbed Canada 14-4 at the World Baseball Classic today.
The mercy rule, comprehensive national humiliation is simple enough to explain on the surface: atrocious pitching, lack of key hits from the Canadian major leaguers – especially the two former MLB MVPs in Joey Votto and Justin Morneau (with the notable exception of young Michael Saunders from Victoria, BC who had two hits and a pair of RBIs on the day) – errors of judgment, and aggressive hitting by “Italy” backed up by adequate pitching and defence. Continue reading →
MEMBERS of the US university baseball team Lakers, from the Grand Valley University in Michigan, had a unique experience in their recent visit to Cuba and verified the great human quality of the Cuban people.
The US newspaper Detroit Free Press quoted catcher and captain of the Lakers, Jared Cowan, as saying that he arrived in Cuba expecting hostile attitudes.