home
Cuba

"I had heard that Cubans are a deeply religious people. In two days here I have learned that baseball is their religion."

Sam Lacy, Baltimore Afro-American, 1947


Cuba lies at the heart of Caribbean baseball. The game arrived on the island in the 1860s when returning students brought it home from the United States. Baseball spread like wildfire, partly as a symbolic rejection of Spanish colonial rule. Crisscrossing the region, Cubans then shared the game throughout the Caribbean, earning the title, "Apostles of Baseball."

At home, Cubans established the Caribbean's first pro league in 1878. Playing in winter, the league featured some of the world's best baseball for over 80 years as major leaguers, Negro leaguers and Caribbean stars played together. In 1961, Fidel Castro replaced the professional Cuban League with an amateur league, the "National Series," which continues today.

Hall of Fame:
Martín Dihigo, José Méndez, Atanasio "Tony" Pérez, Cristóbal Torriente

Leading Rivalries:
Almendares vs. Habana (Before 1961)
Industriales vs. Santiago de Cuba (Modern)





Cuba




Statistics
Cubans in the Major Leagues by Decade

1920s1930s1940s1950s1960s1970s1980s1990s2000s
Active players 10 5 24 40 50 33 15 19 31
Debuts 5 3 21 36 35 4 8 13 19
Games played 1,051 299 2,201 6,514 18,160 10,980 2,590 4,807 5,229
All-Star assignments * 0 0 11 32 21 4 7 4
Pitching wins 157 41 9 228 505 334 17 144 345
Home Runs 14 10 62 271 939 619 249 683 392

* The All-Star Game began in 1933