Cuba is looking for U.S. Minor League Players for the Pan American Games

Cuba’s baseball team may be reinforced by Minor League players for the Pan American Games in Chile. (Cubadebate)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 19 May 19, 2023 — The Cuban Baseball Federation will call for baseball players in the Minor Leagues of the United States to join the team that will represent the Island in the Pan American Games of Santiago 2023 in October. According to the specialized media Pelota Cubana, everything will depend on the permits granted to them by the U.S. clubs.

“Perhaps this is due to the evident lack of quality existing in the National Series and the urgency for top-level results by the Cuban Federation,” the same media stressed. The second week of May, the departure from the Island of three young players looking for an opportunity in the Dominican Republic with one of the U.S. Major League teams was confirmed.

“The National Series is feeling very closely the fateful result of this migration,” warned journalist Francys Romero after the departure of these athletes. “The political and economic situation continues to push young talents and their families to look for new paths outside the Island,” stressed the Béisbol FR reporter.

The decision to summon U.S. Minor League athletes, according to the editor of Pelota Cubana, Ariel Santa Cruz, “accentuates the despair of the official baseball organization in Cuba.” More than 150 players have left the Island in the last two years.

Baseball, declared a part of Cuba’s cultural heritage in 2021, is in crisis. Last year, Cuba did not win any of the nine tournaments in which it participated, extending a losing streak that has exceeded six years. The last championship in which Cuba won dates from August 2016 (World U-15).

The call for Cuban athletes will only be for the Pan American Games in Chile 2023. The team will play the tournament between October 21 and 27 at the Cerrillos Bicentennial Park.

It will be the second event in which Cuba will take players from the U.S., as it did with active Major League players in the last World Baseball Classic, where the so-called Team Asere finished in fourth place.

The news comes after Cuba ran out of balls in the National Series. According to the official publication Jit, the company TeamMate, which looked bad with the delivery of uniforms to players months ago, failed to comply with the distribution of balls for the games and only made one shipment.

The Cuban tournament is using Batos brand balls, which had been acquired as a “reserve.” The same media warned about the cost of balls per game. “Up to May 17, there were 4,207 balls lost in our stadiums.” In Guantánamo, Villa Clara, Isla de la Juventud, Pinar del Río and Havana, between 17 and 20 are lost per game.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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