Landmark Ruling Opens Path for Cubans to Play for Cuba in World Baseball Classic
The United States will allow Major League Baseball players born in Cuba to represent their home country in the World Baseball Classic next year. The decision was announced Saturday in a news release by the Baseball Federation of Cuba (FCB) and confirmed by MLB on Monday. This is a huge bridge between the US and Cuba in helping to return Cuba’s national team as major players on the international diamond.
Back in 2019 MLB and the MLBPA announced their own deal with the FBC that would allow Cuban born players to play at all levels of baseball here in the states without having to defect. Now this decision will allow those who have become US citizens/residents to represent their home country that has taken a hard dive on the international ballfield over the past decade. Cuba missed the cut entirely and was not a part of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
It’s up to each country’s governing body to pick the players on its WBC team. Final 30-man rosters are due Feb. 7th. The Classic which begins March 8 with Cuba facing the Netherlands in Taiwan could now see José Abreu, Yordan Alvarez, Randy Arozarena, Yoán Moncada and Luis Robert on its roster playing for Cuba if they choose to accept an invitation from the FBC.
I grew up watching some of the greatest players Cuba had ever produced. Men like: Luis Tiant , Bert Campaneris, Tony Perez and Tony Oliva. I even got to see Minnie Minoso play at age 54. But you know who didn't watch these all time greats ? The people of Cuba. That always upset me. Baseball isn't about politics. This decision will insure a new generation of kids will get to see their homegrown heroes take the field. For their country of birth. This is great for baseball. And what's great for baseball is great for all of us.
As always you can follow/give me grief on Twitter @Tmurph207