Baseball in Cuba From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Baseball was introduced to Cuba in the 1860s by Cubans who studied in the United States and American sailors who ported in the country. The sport quickly spread across the island nation. Nemisio Guillo is credited with bringing a bat and baseball to Cuba in 1864 after being schooled in Mobile, Alabama. Two more Cubans were sent to Mobile, one being his brother Ernesto; the Guillo brothers and their contemporaries formed a Baseball team in 1868 - the Habana Baseball Club. The club won one major match - against the crew of an American schooner anchored at the Matanzas harbour.
Soon after this, the first Cuban War of Independence against its Spanish rulers spurred Spanish authorities in 1869 to ban playing the sport in Cuba. The reasons were because Cubans began to prefer baseball to viewing bullfights, which Cubans were expected dutifully attend as homage to their Spanish rulers in an informal cultural mandate. As such, baseball became symbolic of freedom and egalitarianism to the Cuban people. The ban also prompted Esteban Bellán to join the semipro Troy Haymakers. He became the first Latin American player to play in a Major League in the United States. Bellan started playing baseball for the Fordham Rose Hill Baseball Club, while attending Fordham University (1863 - 1868). After that he played for the Unions of Morrisania, a New York City team. Bellan played for the Haymakers until 1862; in 1861 it joined the National Association.
The first official match in Cuba took place in Pueblo Nuevo, Matanaz, at the Palmar del Junco, December 27, 1874. It was between Club Matanzas and Club Habana, the latter winning 51 to 9, in nine innings.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article, Baseball in Cuba.
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