By Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria
From the 1st novice leagues of the 1860s to the exploits of Livan and Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez, here's the definitive heritage of baseball in Cuba. Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria expertly lines the arc of the sport, intertwining its heroes and their tales with the politics, tune, dance, and literature of the Cuban humans. What emerges is greater than a narrative of balls and moves, yet a richly exact background of Cuba informed from the original cultural perch of the baseball diamond. Filling a void created by way of Cuba's rejection of bullfighting and Spanish hegemony, baseball quick grew to become a vital sew within the complicated social textile of the island. through the early Nineteen Forties Cuba had turn into significant conduit in spreading the sport all through Latin the USA, and a proving floor for a few of the maximum expertise in all of baseball, the place white significant leaguers and Negro League gamers from the U.S. all competed at the related fields with the cream of Latin expertise. certainly, readers may be brought to numerous black ballplayers of Afro-Cuban descent who performed within the significant Leagues sooner than Jackie Robinson broke the colour barrier as soon as and for all. frequently dramatic, and continually culturally resonant, Gonzalez Echevarria's narrative expertly lays open the ambiguity of fierce Cuban independence from the U.S. with Cuba's love for our nationwide hobby. It indicates how Fidel Castro cannily linked himself with the game for patriotic p.r.--and finds that his meant baseball expertise is only legendary. in accordance with broad fundamental examine and a wealth of interviews, the colourful, frequently dramatic anecdotes and tales during this exceptional booklet contain the main accomplished historical past of Cuban baseball but released and eventually provides an essential misplaced bankruptcy to the historical past of baseball within the U.S.