MLB clinics in Cuba

 

The U.S. Major League Baseball (MLB) this week will give a clinic for Cuban children together with the Cuban Baseball Department, Cuban television reported.

Stadiums in Havana and the cities of Matanzas and Pinar del Río will be the venues for the clinic, to be given November 16, 17 and 19 with the aim of “intensifying the practice of the national sport which has thousands of followers on the island.”

The participants will be Cuban children aged between 8 and 12, but the news report did not reveal the possible MLB players who could take part in the clinic.

Cuban baseball legends like Lázaro Junco, Pepe Estrada, Rolando Verde, Lázaro de la Torre, Omar Ajete and Giraldo González will participate in the practical classes.

Ever since diplomatic relations were reestablished between Cuba and the United States – under the administration of former President Barack Obama – U.S. teams and athletes have participated in sports clinics, meets and friendly games.

In December 2015, the MLB and its Players Association arrived in Cuba for an exchange and gave clinics in Havana’s Latin American Stadium and Matanzas’ Víctoria de Girón.

As part of that historical moment, the delegation was made up by Joe Torre, MLB director of sports operations, and Dave Winfield, MLBPA special consultant, in addition to Miguel Cabrera, Nelson Cruz and Clayton Kershaw. But the most transcendental part of the event was the presence of Cuban émigré baseball players José D. Abreu, Alexei Ramírez, Yasiel Puig and Brayan Peña.

Retired Cuban stars Pedro L. Lazo, Pedro Medina, Rey Vicente Anglada and Orestes Kindelán gave the baseball classes with them.

Months later, Raúl Castro and Barack Obama – as part of the official visit by the U.S. president – witnessed in the Latin American Stadium the friendly game between the Cuban national team and the MLB Tampa Bay Rays on March 22, 2016.

One year later, in March 2017, a category 14-18 champion team, made up by students from the Alexander Dawson School from the U.S. state of Colorado, and Cuban children aged 8 and 9 years held a sports meet in the province of Artemisa.

EFE / OnCuba

 

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