Send by email

your name: email to: message:
Username: Email: Password: Confirm Password:
Login with
Confirming registration ...

Edit your profile:

Country: Town: State:
Gender: Birthday:
Email: Web:
How do you describe yourself:
Password: New password: Repite password:

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Why is there such a great flow of Cubans to the MLB?

Por Jack Leyva

When looking back at the Cubans that played in the MLB from 1960 to the first years of this century, we can clearly see that only a few got to the top in the best baseball of the world and also very few of them were in the roster of the different franchises’ levels. However, this reality has turned over the last few years and lots of players from the island have gotten to the MLB.

Twenty-five years ago, at the beginning of the nineties, it was not possible to visualize such a significant growth in the flow of the Cuban players to the MLB due to the tension in the diplomatic relationships between the two countries. Nevertheless, some brave ones decided to try their luck in the MLB with the dream of achieving what others like Luis Tiant, Mike Cuellar, Bert Campaneris, Tany Perez, etc, did. These players did not only play in the MLB, they also made it to the World Series. There are other names like Rene Arocha, Rolando Arrojo, Livan Hernandez or the famous Orlando “Duque” Hernandez, who got to the MLB in the nineties after either leaving their teams in international competitions or abandoning their country to get to Florida in a small boat.

Nowadays, after the update of the Migratory Laws in Cuba, which have allowed the natural citizens to travel without any restrictions, as long as he or she can obtain the visa to go to another country, the reality is a different one. The baseball players have taken this opportunity and have traveled often to Dominican Republic, Mexico, Haiti, Jamaica and other nations from Central America that work as a bridge to get to the USA. Such tendency has suffered an increase over the last five years and not only with players that already play in the Cuban Championship, there are also lots of young players, between 15 and 18 years of age, that leave the country looking to be signed up in the international market to eventually get the juicy amounts of money they dream of.

It is no wonder then the fact that there are more than 100 Cubans at this moment that play in 28 franchises of the MLB, with the exception of the Pittsburg Pirates and the Philadelphia Phillies. The opposite being the Houston Astros and the Dodgers from Los Angeles, with more than 10 Cubans in their rosters. These teams have found important players like Yuli Gurriel, Yasiel Puig or Yasmani Grandal. On their side, the San Diego Padres have focused on younger talent like Michel Baez, Adrian Morejon, Ronald Bolaños y Edgar Martinez, which signed contracts without being 20 years old. In general, the expansion is a fact and having two Cubans fighting against each other for the World Series title is a scene that might repeat in the coming years.