If there exists anything in Cuban culture as important as tobacco over the past 100 years, it’s the sport of baseball. The Cubans are renowned for their passion and love for the game. It is more than a sport, it is a bridge between the USA and Cuba which transcends politics and philosophies. The culture of baseball is an indelible part of the island and offers an open line of communication between the two nations as well as a point of much needed commonality.
ECN provides both adults and youth an opportunity to play America's game while visiting this amazing island. We offer three age levels..10-13, 14-17 (including 18 yr olds not yet attending college or pros), and 18 (with above exception) to 65. All baseball games will be played on well groomed fields and even some stadiums. Games will be nine innings with flexible playing rules to enhance participation and the overall experience. All U.S teams will be matched with Cuban teams of similar ages and skill level. If you hadn't noticed already, these players, regardless of age, play baseball the way Abner Doubleday intended it to be played. All ages of Cuban players are very, very good. After the game is over and teams are "going through the line," you will come away with a very special appreciation and respect for your opponents. Four games in different towns on different fields vs different Cuban teams will be scheduled. For young and old, this will be a true baseball experience never to be forgotten.
If "Series Nacionales" is in season, ECN will take you to an evening game as a treat. This is the equivalent of our Major Leagues. No matter how many big league games you have attended back home, you will never have experienced anything quite like a Cuban profession contest. The excitement the Cuban players bring to the game, along with the energy and passion of the fans, is nothing like you've seen before and likely never will again. A truly unforgettable evening.
It doesn’t get much more “People to People” folks. If you love baseball, this Experience is a requirement for your “bucket list”. A true Home Run for all!
A little historical information regarding Cuban baseball (beisol) you may find interesting is that when the first Cuban professional league was formed in 1878, the sport was temporarily banned by the island’s Spanish rulers because Spain considered bull fighting it’s sport of choice, not this foreign game of baseball which was preferred by the Cubans. Baseball became a symbol of freedom to the Cuban people and has remained a vital part of the culture today. After the successful Revolution of 1959, Fidel Castro, an avid fan and quality player, considered baseball as a symbol of competitiveness and a rallying cry of nationalism. In 1903 Cuba placed two teams of players in the American Negro Leagues, the New York Cubans and the Cuban Stars. As most of you know, our Major Leagues now has many top notch Cuban players who have joined via defection, and show us daily how good the Cuban grown players really are.
During our visits and meaningful interactions with the players you will certainly learn more about how American and Cuban cultures are intertwined through the sport of baseball.