Community, Defection, and equipo Cuba: Baseball under Fidel Castro, 1959–93

By Katie Krall

This article was published in the Fall 2019 Baseball Research Journal.

Baseball is called America’s national pastime, but in Cuba baseball is a way of life. Based on a cost-benefit analysis of the value of defection, strong familial and community ties prevented Cuban players from abandoning the national team after the 1959 revolution. However, after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 and legalization of the possession of the US dollar two years later, prominent players began defecting to the Major Leagues as those bonds started to break. Baseball . . .

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