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Baseball in the United States dates back to the 1840s NFL Jerseys Wholesale , but many other countries picked up and played the sport soon after. In Cuba, students who enrolled in the United States educational system returned home to the island nation with a bat and a ball. The popularity of the game in Cuba was so high as to be considered part of the identity during the war for independence during the late 1800s.
The Spaniards assumed that the baseball practice and teams were just a cover-up for the preparation to go to war. Throughout the Caribbean region, Cuban players spread their newfound knowledge which increased the popularity of the game. It was two Cuban brothers who carried the game to the Dominican Republic and Cubans in the country of Venezuela along with Venezuelan nationals who had matriculated in the U.S. brought the sport to Venezuela, beginning in 1895 and to the island of Puerto Rico in 1897.
In Mexico, it was also Cubans who had fled from the island during its struggles for independence that brought baseball to Mexico. The Cubans in Mexico were assisted by U.S. merchant marines and railroad workers. Various regions of Mexico were converted to the sport during the years from 1877 to 1899. In terms of popularity, the sport of baseball is number one in Cuba, Dominican Republic and Venezuela with a strong showing in Puerto Rico.
Mexico still places football as the dominant sport. In Central America, baseball is also very popular. In the United States, players from Latin America and Puerto Rico have become a growing force in major league baseball. There are professional leagues organized in Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.
As in the rest of the world, football (soccer) is unquestionably the most popular sport in Latin America. Yet, it is also true that in much of the Caribbean basin, baseball is the number one sport. In fact NFL Jerseys Cheap , where U.S. imperial power spread throughout the world, and in Latin America specifically, the influence of baseball was the strongest. During a military occupation, many countries were introduced to American baseball.
It has been said that if Fidel Castro had been a better baseball player, the history of the Cold War might have played out very differently. Castro is an avid fan and once played the game. The reverse is also true: Orlando Hernandez "El Duque" left Cuba in 2000 and played for the New York Yankees in the World Series.
Baseball season in Latin America stretches from October to January. The winners of the four national leagues meet in February to play the Caribbean Series. Mexican players participate in a summer minor league that has connections with the U.S. Minor League Baseball governing body. Mexico has been given Triple A status. There are also Dominican Republic and Venezuelan summer rookie leagues that are affiliated with Minor League Baseball.
Although professional baseball existed in Cuba from 1878 until 1961, it was abolished by the Cuban government at the professional level. The Cuban national team now dominates the world amateur competitions, winning gold medals at Barcelona in 1992 and Atlanta in 1996.
About 30 percent of the major league players in baseball today are connected to Latin America in some fashion. Either they are from Latin America or are descendants of Latin Americans who grew up in the U.S. In the general population, only eleven percent of the people are from Latin America. Latino baseball players overwhelmingly are foreign born and claim Cuba, Nicaragua, Panama, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic as a birthplace.
Unfortunately, some of the major teams have gained a reputation for an almost sweatshop approach to baseball academies in the Latin American region. Young boys with talent are signed and sent to these training regimens where life is harsh in the hopes of winning a contract with one of the major clubs. Many of these players travel to Latin America to play the winter league baseball games in the Latin American leagues.
The countries in the Caribbean basin that are baseball enthusiasts send national teams with championship titles to participate in the Caribbean World Series each year since 1949. For players of Latin American descent, the opportunity to play in Major League Baseball is high success and tremendous financial gain.
Beginning in 2006, the World Baseball Classic between the United States Jerseys From China , Puerto Rico, Japan, Mexico, Panama, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, was held. Nicaragua did not attend, but Cuba did send a team. The tournament was won by Japan, which was a tremendous surprise to many if not most of the observers.