History of Cuban Baseball, 1864-2006

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Overview

Major League Baseball's 2006 World Baseball Classic amazed an international audience when an amateur team from Cuba met Japan in San Diego for the sport's first true world championship. But those who had paid attention to international tournaments were hardly surprised by Cuba's showing against all-star teams of American, Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Venezuelan professionals. Cuban national teams have now reached the finals of 38 consecutive major world tournaments, won better than 90 percent of their international contests since 1939, repeatedly beaten U.S. all-stars at the avowed American national game, and reigned for more than half a century as undisputed champions of global baseball. In this groundbreaking book, expert Peter Bjarkman follows the full arc of Cuban baseball history, including close coverage of the nearly five decades since the Sugar Kings' ejection from the U.S.-based International League. Dispelling the mysteries and disinformation that surround Cuba, its leadership, and its teams, early and late, Bjarkman gives us the first truly balanced history of baseball on the Caribbean island.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Bjarkman (Baseball with a Latin Beat) delivers the definitive work on Cuban baseball. He looks at four Cuban legends-Martin Dihigo, Adolfo Luque, Orestes "Minnie" Minoso, and Conrado Marrero-before covering Cuba's baseball teams during both the prerevolutionary and Castro eras. He discusses Havana's place as the "amateur baseball capital of the world" and also explores myths surrounding Castro as a ballplayer, as well as such figures as Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez. With useful appendixes and statistics. For all baseball collections. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786428298
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/22/2007
  • Pages: 496
  • Product dimensions: 11.00 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Major League Baseball's 2006 World Baseball Classic shocked an international audience when an amateur team from Cuba met Japan in San Diego for the sport's first true world championship. But those who had paid attention to international tournaments were hardly surprised by Cuba's showing against all-star teams of American, Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Venezuelan professionals. Cuban national teams have now reached the finals of 38 consecutive major world tournaments, won better than 90 percent of their international contests since 1939, repeatedly beaten U.S. all-stars at the avowed American national game, and reigned for more than half a century as undisputed champions of global baseball.

In this groundbreaking book, expert Peter Bjarkman follows the full arc of Cuban baseball history, including close coverage of the nearly five decades since the Sugar Kings' ejection from the International League. Dispelling the mystery and disinformation that surround Cuba, its leader, and its teams, early and late, Bjarkman gives us the first truly balanced history of baseball on the Caribbean island.

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Table of Contents


Preface     1
Introduction     11
The Cuban Legends
Baseball's Least-Known Hall of Famer     25
The Original "Pride of Havana"     39
The Cuban Comet     52
The Baseball Half-Century of Conrado Marrero     63
The Cuban Leagues
Myths and Legends of the Cuban Professional League (1878-1961)     79
Cuban Blackball's Doubleheaders on the Dark Side of the Moon     130
Havana as Amateur Baseball Capital of the World     151
Cuba's Revolutionary Baseball (1962-2005)     234
The Cuban Legacy
The Myth of Fidel Castro, Barbudos Ballplayer     299
Cubans in the Major Leagues     315
The World's Best Unknown Ballplayers     349
Playing with the Enemy: Player Defections, the Orioles, and Baseball Detente     386
Appendices and Statistical Records
Chronology (1866-2006)     423
Blackball Register     434
Major League Register     446
Statistical Records     455
Bibliography     477
Index     481
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