Friday, December 13, 2013

#616 Baseball in Cuba

Just like in the US, baseball in Cuba is fun.

And as in the US and the Dominican Republic, baseball is the national sport of Cuba.

Our group of 400 baseball fans travels west of Havana for an hour to reach the stadium in Artemisa, the capital of the neighboring province.

The Havana Industriales take on the Artemisa team on this hot December afternoon and we're all grateful for the stadium design that puts the fans in the shade and the players in the sun!  We sit on concrete bleachers on the third base line, so our 7th-inning stretch happens between every inning.
Baseball has been played in Cuba since the 1860s and these two skilled teams are well matched.  It's a close game.  There aren't many differences between US baseball and Cuban baseball.  Even the distance to the outfield fence is labeled in feet.  Inside the stadium, you can't buy beer, nachos, or Cracker Jacks.  But rumor has it that on this day, stadium vendors sold more hot dogs than ever before. 
The students sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame and start a wave that makes it way through the entire stadium.  And after the Industriales bring home the victory, the SAS group is invited down to the field for photos with the players.

Yours in enjoying Cuban baseball,

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