Baseball is one of the most important activities in Cuba. It is the national sport, the hobby of children and adults, entertainment for many Cubans but also a job. It means joy, tradition, and passion.
Although the biggest events in the world take place in North America and Asia, we love foreigners visiting our stadiums and enjoying baseball games with us. Trust me: that could be one of the most amazing experiences you can have in Cuba if you like baseball. We spread the joy and energy so typical of Cubans.
A little bit of history about Baseball In Cuba
It is known that Cuban Indians used to play ‘Batos’, a game on which they hit a ball, made of leaves and resin, with a tree branch. That’s why we say that baseball is in our blood.
After that, there are stories of baseball games in Cuba as early as 1867. It is said that it was introduced to the island from the USA throughout Havana and Matanzas, but there is no consensus about who did it or how. At that time, Cuba was colonized by the Spanish, who tried to impose football as the ‘sport of kings’. This didn’t work out and even Cuban fighters for independence played the game. They used to say that baseball was the ‘king of sports’.
The first official baseball game was held on December 27, 1874. Three years later, in 1877, the first international baseball game in Cuba and Latin America took place, between the team of Matanzas for Cuba and a team of sailors from the USA. The first official championship, on December 29, 1878, was held in Vedado, Havana.
The Cuban Professional Baseball League was founded in 1878 and from that date the construction of stadiums began, although people also played in empty building sites.
Cuban baseball players in the world
Since 1926 Cuban baseball has earned international victories, starting with the Central American games in México and after that the World Championships of 1939, 1940, 1942 and 1943, all of them in Havana. In 1959 Cubans won first place in every one of the Minor League championships, including the Triple-A leagues in the USA. That’s why they were requested by different countries to be part of their teams.
Cuban baseball players have been in the teams of other countries since the very beginning of the sport, mainly in the USA. To have a general idea, by 1950 only 10 Latin Americans had participated in Major Leagues, against 51 Cubans. By 1960, when professional games ended in Cuba, there were 89.
Nowadays, Cuban baseball players have played in the leagues of Canada, Japan, Korea and Chinese Taipei, and in Latin America, the leagues of Venezuela, Dominican Republic and Mexico. They have also been hired by countries such as Italy and Belgium.
Some ideas to help you enjoy Baseball In Cuba
Today there are baseball teams in every province in Cuba. Nevertheless, the most famous and sucessful are Industriales, the team of the capital of the island and the ones of Pinar del Río and Santiago de Cuba.
Therefore, in any of these destinations, you will enjoy good baseball games in the local stadiums. There are leagues from different companies and also the Sub-23 championship every year.
If you travel to Cuba with kids, another option is to visit a baseball training camp for children (in Cuba they start with 8-9 years old and go until the 15-16 category, before the Youth league) or to organize a baseball game between your kids and a Cuban team.
Finally, every year the National Baseball Championship takes place from August to February. There won’t be a better opportunity to enjoy quality baseball games. Also, experiencing the passion of Cubans during a baseball game is well worth it.
If you are interested in any of these ideas, contact us here. We can also help you with your accommodation in a casa particular and transportation to the following destinations:
To get your Cuban Tourist Card, even if you are coming from the USA, you can do it through EasyTouristCard.com. Here you can place all the tourist cards in the same order. In this way, you will only pay one shipping charge.