Photography by Ernesto Bazan
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Story on baseball in Cuba
Baseball Reportage

Introduced to the island in the 1870's, baseball has become as much a part of Cuba as its music and its tobacco. La pelota, as the Cubans refer to it, is played everywhere by people of all ages. As soccer is the national sport in several countries in Latin America, baseball is king here in Cuba. It's one of those pervasive, ever-lasting influences from America that not even 42 years of cold war stand off have been able to erase.

Since the Revolution took place in 1959, Cuban baseball teams have had a long string of international victories including several Olympics gold medals. At the end of each winter baseball season, Cuba's best players are selected to play the east-west-all star game which is nationally televised. Unlike the heavily commercialized aspects of American baseball where simply to get in you have to pay a hefty sum, here baseball is for people's enjoyment only. It's a sure treat to go to a game and watch fans and players having a ball just for the fun of it.

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