Notes On Cuban Baseball • Latino Sports

Cuban Baseball

Notes On Cuban Baseball

on

Cuba does not have an official religion, but from what you see and hear throughout the streets, clubs, restaurants, parks of Cuba baseball is the closest thing to a religion.

Everyone here seems to be passionately involved in baseball and their home teams. In the states we are usually fans of the home team. However, in the U.S. there are many fans of other teams that are as far away from New York as the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants. Brooklyn seems to still have a large Dodgers fan base of majority seniors who still remember when the Dodgers were in Brooklyn. In the Bronx and Washington Heights you have a new and growing Latino fan base that is not following teams, but rather players. There are a lot of Boston fans because of players like many Manny Ramirez (now retired) and David “Big Papi” Ortiz. That is rare here in Havana.

In Cuba the provinces that have teams are like an independent country when it comes to fan loyalty and pride. It has been very rare for me meeting a Havanero (someone from Havana) who is a fan of another province.

The Industriales is now the only team here where there was once two with Los Metropolitanos. Years ago I wrote a piece and I compared these two teams of then as the Yankees and the Mets of New York. The Industriales as the Yankees and the Metropolitanos as the NY Mets. That is no longer the case now it seems all of Havana is Industriales, the Yankees of Cuba.

I walked into the management office here at the hotel requesting a meeting with the general manager wearing an Industriales hat and his secretary quickly commented on my hat and mentioned the previous nights game. I smiled and told her that after being in Havana for a few days I have been converted from Santiago de Cuba fan to Industriales and she smiled and laughed. She stated she was glad that I wore the Industriales hat because she smiled and said, “Aqui todos somos Industrialistas,” (here we are all Industrialistas). I don’t know if she was kidding, but I’m glad that I learned, “when in Rome do as the Romans,” my meeting was granted.

About Julio Pabón

Julio is President and Founder of Latino Sports LLC., the parent company of Latinosports.com. Julio is a product of the South Bronx where he still lives and runs his businesses. Julio has written and has been interviewed for numerous publication and networks on sports & political issues. He has been an activist promoting social justice and respect for all communities. He is a recognized motivational speaker, was an adjunct professor of American History and presently volunteer's as a lecturer in local South Bronx High Schools. His primary goal is to make Latinosports.com a multi-facet sports portal that will engender social and economic empowerment to the Latino community.

Recommended for you