Burgos: No, Castro wasn’t nearly a New York Yankee

From NPR’s Morning Edition at November 30, 2016, with mention of SABR member Adrian Burgos Jr.:

The late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro loved baseball. And you may have heard that he was such a good player that years before the Cuban revolution, he tried out for the New York Yankees in Havana.

Or not. This myth has persisted for years, and though it might be fun to contemplate the historical consequences of this “What if?” scenario, Adrian Burgos Jr., University of Illinois history professor and author of Playing America’s Game: Baseball, Latinos and the Color Line, says it simply didn’t happen.

“He didn’t try out for the Yankees,” Burgos tells NPR’s David Greene.

It’s possible Castro went to an open tryout held by the Washington Senators in Havana, Burgos says, but he was not “at the level of a talented Cuban ballplayer where the scouts went looking for him.”

Read the full article here: http://www.npr.org/2016/11/30/503752196/no-fidel-castro-wasnt-nearly-a-new-york-yankee

Originally published: November 30, 2016. Last Updated: November 30, 2016.