Watching Cuban Baseball In Havana - Non Stop Excitement • Latino Sports

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Watching Cuban Baseball In Havana – Non Stop Excitement

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Yesterday I attended a baseball game at Havana’s Latino Americano stadium, home of the popular Industriales team who are regarded strangely as the Yankees of the Cuban Baseball League. Both teams have almost the identical color blue and both teams have been known to be powerhouses with a rich winning history and star players.

The Industriales are presently in third place in the Cuban Baseball League that began their baseball season in mid-September. Yesterday the streets around el Latino Americano sounded like a Brazilian carnival as they were preparing for a three game series with the first place Matanzas team. The number of people outside the stadium waiting to get in were cheering and making so much loud noise that I could not wait to get inside to see what was going on inside?

Inside the stadium it looked and sounded like a World Series finals game and this is not yet half of their season. The entire stadium between the foul poles was packed to capacity, only the huge and expansive center field bleachers had some empty seats.

I know that there is a lot of debate in the U.S. about the length of our games and how the youth are fading away as they find our baseball too long and a bit boring. Well I guarantee you that anyone watching this game yesterday would not been bored at all.

Between the incredible chanting and noise being made without the agitation of any giant screen, or music from the stadium speakers, the fury and energy of just about every man, woman and child in the stadium and surrounding streets were felt. I’m talking non-stop chanting, noise, fans chiding the opposing teams and other fans from the first inning to the ninth. The rivalry was intense, yet not one person had to be escorted out, or any physical altercations between fans. The 35 thousand fans present sounded like 70 thousand.

The high level of play between the teams, incredible first caliber defense (not one error committed by either team), great managing (replacing pitchers as early as the 4th, or 5th inning while the game was close by a one run difference), solid hitting and a homerun here and there and the creative defensive plays were enough to keep me open eyed for the entire game.

The competiveness of both teams and the quality of play made for my first baseball game in Cuba in over 15 years wondering how much we could really learn from a country that has been lacking so much material things, but has made a simple game of baseball more exciting than a three ring circus.

The home team, Industriales won by a score of 6-2 and I can’t wait for tonight’s game that can only be more intense.

Two generations of players. Matanzas Coach, Victor Mesa counsels his son, Victor Mesa Jr. on a critical at bat (Photo LatinoSports)

Two generations of players. Matanzas Coach, Victor Mesa counsels his son, Victor Mesa Jr. on a critical at bat (Photo LatinoSports)

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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.

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  • Blanca

    As I read the article I found myself enjoying what Julio had to say. I may say I wish I were there cause it sound like an exciting game. So no matter where you are baseball is such a great game. Like Julio said especially this country with the little that they have they have made the best of it all. We should all learn from that because life is about learning to appreciate what you have or I should say what you do not have.