Baseball Geek Group: Jimm Hendren│Baseball in Cuba

Baseball was first introduced to Cuba in 1860s by students who returned from the US and also from Western sailors docked in the nation. It quickly became popular and was spread widely.

In 1878, the Cuban League was established composed of 3 teams — Mantanzas, Habana, and Almendares — each playing 4 games. At first, players were all whites and amateurs but professionalism soon emerged as rivalry among teams strengthen.

The Cuban Revolution in 1959 resulted significant changes that reached the sports community. Baseball was chosen as the sport that symbolizes Cuba’s nationalism after the revolution. (Since the 19th century, baseball has already served as a symbol of Cuban pride.)

After the revolution concluded, guerilla leaders joined in exhibition matches in baseball as symbolic gestures. The 1960s also saw the replacement of pro baseball system with the Cuban National Series,…

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