Major League Cuban Baseball
About This Episode
In 1874, the first official baseball game was held on the island of Cuba, in defiance of Spanish colonial law. After Cuba gained its independence from Spain, the sport became an integral part of the Cuban identity. Major League Cuban Baseball documents Cuban ball players’ presence in the budding American professional leagues of the late 1800s, and their impact on American baseball in the early 20th century.
The documentary also delves into baseball in post-revolution Cuba, when professional sports were banned on the island and many players made the difficult decision to leave for the U.S. For the hundreds of thousands of Cuban exiles who fled their country, baseball served as an elixir and the Cuban big leaguers were their heroes. Weaving archival footage with interviews from historians, baseball fans, journalists, and former major leaguers Camilo Pascual, Orestes Destrade, and Tony Perez, Major League Cuban Baseball chronicles the history of Cubans in the major leagues, documents the influence of baseball on Cuban culture, and examines the impact of Cubans and Cuban-Americans on the game.