Tag Archives: Cuba – Baseball

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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Once again, US excludes Cuba from the Caribbean Series

Attacks on Cuban baseball are nothing new, and it is not surprising that the Caribbean Confederation of Professional Baseball (CBPC) has decided to forego our participation in the next Caribbean Series, in Puerto Rico, referring to supposed difficulties caused by the limited time available to process U.S. visas needed to travel to that nation. Continue reading

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Trump breaks Cuba-US baseball agreement

It is not news that the Trump administration has canceled the agreement signed by the MLB and the Cuban Baseball Federation, on December 19, after three years of hard work by both parties.

And it is not because the agreement sought to end the human suffering of Cuban athletes. Continue reading

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Cuban Baseball Federation and MLB reach historic agreement

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Modern facilities to strengthen Cuban sports

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Fidel and baseball

Fidel inaugurated revolutionary Cuba’s First National Series | Granma archive

(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

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Five Cuban players sign with Can-Am league

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Fidel Castro and baseball

His fastball has long since died. He still has a few curveballs which he throws at us routinely. – Nicholas Burns, U.S. State Department Spokesman

BY PETER C. BJARKMAN*

(August 18, 2016) – Most baseball fans tend to take their idle ballpark pastimes far too seriously. On momentary reflection, even a diehard rooter would have to admit that big-league baseball’s most significant historical figures – say, Mantle, Cobb, Barry Bonds, Walter Johnson, even Babe Ruth himself – are only mere blips on the larger canvas of world events. After all, 95 per cent (perhaps more) of the globe’s population has little or no interest whatsoever in what transpires on North American ballpark diamonds. Babe Ruth may well have been one of the grandest icons of American popular culture, yet little in the nature of world events would have been in the slightest degree altered if the flamboyant Babe had never escaped the rustic grounds of St. Mary’s School for Boys in Baltimore. Continue reading

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Cuban youth goodwill tour lands in New England

Cuban and US players watch batting practice from the field at Fenway Park

Cuban and US players watch batting practice from the field at Fenway Park

REYNALDO CRUZ*

THEY CAME ON A GRAY, drizzly Sunday morning, on a bus from Canada after flying from Varadero, Cuba, following an 11-hour drive from the Cuban city of Holguin. Continue reading

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