The Debut of a Woman Baseball Player on a Cuban Men’s Team Stirs Controversy Among Fans

Rosaly González Rodríguez debuted in a men’s team last Sunday. (Maikel Martín Gallego/Facebook)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, December 7, 2023 —  The debut of Cuban Rosaly González on the baseball team of the Sancti Spiritus municipality of Jatibonico, traditionally made up of men, generated controversy among fans. The inclusion of the athlete not only represents the breaking of a pattern in the Island’s sport, but also Highlights the shortage of male baseball players, who have fled the country in recent years.

However, González’s debut in the stadium has motivated an avalanche of comments for and against. “There is a lot of division of opinion on whether this should be allowed, although little by little women have been gaining prominence in men’s baseball,” said the specialized media DPorto Sports.

González, according to Radio Sancti Spíritus journalist Maikel Martín Gallego , entered as a pinch hitter at the start of the eighth inning of Jatibonico’s game against Trinidad, during the Provincial Baseball Championship in the first category. “Although she struck out, she got to the even count (2 and 2), and she even fouled out behind,” he stressed.

The ballplayer ended up playing first base. “Curiosities and news about the Sancti Spiritus baseball,” commented the same communicator. The game was won by Trinidad with 11 runs against only one run from Jatibonico, in eight innings.

There is a lot of division of opinion about whether this should be allowed, although little by little women have been gaining prominence in men’s baseball

“As crazy as putting a man in a women’s 100-meter dash race,” Havana native Rogelio Torras Alvarez said. “Isn’t there men’s and women’s baseball, well, in all sports? Why mix them here?” he added.

Another of the fans, identified as Armando García Rivero, was happy for the baseball player’s participation, although he acknowledged not knowing if the rules allowed it. “In other sports like volleyball I have never seen mixed teams, and there have been high-quality women there.”

The 2023 National Series Regulations do not establish explicit prohibitions on the participation of a woman in a men’s team. Section 1.3 establishes that the teams will be made up of 40 players, who are asked to fill out an individual form, which requests “respect” for the sporting rules, in addition to providing personal data and a photo.

During the Technical Congress of the Provincial Championship, which took place last November, it was specified that each of the eight teams will have 25 players on a roster and for games away from their headquarters 20 may travel, but there is no impediment to the participation of a mixed team.

Pelota Cubana, another site specializing in baseball, described Rosaly González’s foray into men’s sports as “an unusual event.” However, on the Island, more than 10 years ago Janet Moreno broke the barrier among referees. A hyperactive girl, who came to the world of refereeing in 2000 with softball, Cubadebate said about her then: “In 2005 she became the first woman to administer justice in the highest baseball competition in Cuba.”


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