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Béisbol Libre: Baseball and Nationalism in Cuba

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  1. Introduction
  2. Givin the nation a sense of nationalism
  3. Cuba's reliance on slave labor
  4. Baseball vs bullfighting in Cuba
  5. Bans and restrictions against baseball
  6. The growing dissatisfaction with Spanish colonial rule
  7. Support for the war
  8. Conclusion
  9. References

Baseball has long been considered the great ?American Pastime?, for many it conjures up images of children playing in little league games and the epic scenes of Field of Dreams, in which the diamond is surrounded by cornfields. However imagine such a diamond surrounded by sugar cane. This is the case in Cuba where baseball has overwhelmingly come to be viewed as the true national sport of the country. Cuban players are among the greatest to play the game in the major leagues, with players like José Canseco, Rafael Palmiero, and José Contreras having storied careers in modern times. However Cuba's relationship to baseball goes far beyond a simple breeding ground for Major League Baseball.

[...] Perez further adds ?Baseball offered the possibility of national integration of all Cubans, of all classes, black and white, young and old, men and women.?.[12]Though limited in actuality, the baseball-inspired rising feelings of nationalism in Cuba helped begin to break down racial barriers in the country. As the popularity of baseball expanded so rapidly, and throughout the entire nation, a growing feeling of nationalism related to this game was inevitable. Klein concludes that baseball can indeed be used as a tool to empower nations, despite the fact it is implemented by another, more powerful country; ?baseball, a cultural institution developed by colonial powers and diffused as part of a colonial enterprise, has the capacity to be used by developing countries to create a sense of empowerment?[13]. [...]


[...] Jr., ?Between Baseball and Bullfighting: The Quest for Nationality in The Journal of American History, Vol No 2 (1994), 493-517. Perez, Louis A. Jr., On Becoming Cuban, (New York, 1999), 60-95. Louis A. Perez Jr., ?Between Baseball and Bullfighting: The Quest for Nationality in The Journal of American History, Vol No 2 (1994) Eric Enders, ?Through the Looking Glass: The Forgotten world of Cuban Baseball?, Nine: a Journal of Baseball History and Culture, Vol (2003) Perez ?Baseball and Bullfighting? Perez, ?Baseball and Bullfighting? Louis A. [...]

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