From SABR member John Thorn at Our Game on December 20, 2018:
Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) jointly announced today an agreement with the Cuban Baseball Federation (FCB) that will provide Cuban baseball players with a safe and legal path to sign with a Major League Club. The objective of the agreement, which is the product of years of negotiations with the FCB, is to end the dangerous trafficking of Cuban players who desire to play professional baseball in the United States, a practice that has been documented in legal proceedings and media reports, and which has caused significant hardship to Cuban players and their families. The FCB becomes the fourth foreign professional baseball league to enter into an agreement of this nature with MLB, joining Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), and the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL).
Before there was a United States, beginning in 1776, there was baseball. And before there was a Cuban Republic, beginning in 1868, there was baseball. Today, even after decades of diplomatic hostility — never shared by the two peoples — the game older than either nation continues to be the tie that binds.
Until the Revolution of 1959, Cuba sent the most players to the Major Leagues and the Negro Leagues. Its tournaments attracted players from both the U.S. and the Caribbean Basin. Four Cuban-born players are in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown (Martín Dihigo, José Mendez, Tony Pérez, and Cristóbal Torriente); others are stars of the first magnitude today; and then there is Minnie Miñoso, about whom this entire essay might be written.
Read the full article here: https://ourgame.mlblogs.com/have-a-cuba-libre-on-me-2efaa11620e
- Related link: Read biographies from SABR’s Cuban Baseball Legends: Baseball’s Alternate Universe at the SABR BioProject
Originally published: December 21, 2018. Last Updated: December 21, 2018.