From SABR member Adrian Burgos Jr. at The Sporting News on January 29, 2015:
The Dec. 17 announcement that the United States and Cuba would normalize political relations kindled the imagination of many within the baseball world. Some harkened back to the time when Cuba was the leading supplier of foreign-born talent to Major League Baseball. That was the era of Minnie Miñoso slashing and dashing across the diamond, Tony Oliva stroking line drives, and Luis Tiant’s evolution from flame-thrower to the right-handed version of his father, Lefty Tiant, Negro League ace.
Excitement in Major League about the forthcoming new era of Cuban-MLB relations focused mainly on three questions: When? Who’s next? What?
When will players from the rich Cuban talent pool become more readily available to MLB?
Who is the next talented Cuban who will make himself available to major league organizations?
What system will be established for Cubans to enter MLB that might eliminate the perilous journey embark on when defecting from Cuba?
However, for me, this excitement sparked another question, one raised by the growing pains of Yasiel Puig, the trades and travels of Yoenis Cespedes, and the emergence of José Abreu as this decade’s Cuban stars: What does it feel like to be a Cuban in an adoptive country?
Originally published: January 29, 2015. Last Updated: January 29, 2015.