Cuba Béisbol

CaribbeanThe Tampa Rays played (and defeated) the Cuban National team yesterday in Havana and President Barak Obama and his family were in attendance along with Raul Castro and a host of other dignitaries. The game marks the second time since 1959 that an American team has played in Cuba — the Baltimore Orioles defeated the national team, 3-2, in Havana in 1999. It will be interesting to see how the baseball relationship between these two baseball loving countries takes shape in the next few years.

The Minnesota Twins and the island of Cuba have a long history and it goes back to the 1960’s prior to the Washington Senators becoming the Minnesota Twins in 1961. The relationship between Calvin Griffith and Joe “Papa Joe” Cambria was an interesting one. The Senators/Twins had a nice Cuban pipeline going for a number of years.

Players born in Cuba that have pitched for the Twins

Rk Player Year From To Age G SHO W L SV IP SO ERA
1 Livan Hernandez 2008 2008 2008 33-33 23 0 10 8 0 139.2 54 5.48 Villa Clara, Cuba
2 Luis Tiant 1970 1970 1970 29-29 18 1 7 3 0 92.2 50 3.40 Marianao, Cuba
3 Camilo Pascual 1966 1961 1966 27-32 184 18 88 57 0 1284.2 994 3.31 La Habana, Cuba
4 Mike Fornieles 1963 1963 1963 31-31 11 0 1 1 0 22.2 7 4.76 La Habana, Cuba
5 Julio Becquer 1961 1961 1961 29-29 1 0 0 0 0 1.1 0 20.25 La Habana, Cuba
6 Bert Cueto 1961 1961 1961 23-23 7 0 1 3 0 21.1 5 7.17 San Luis, Cuba
7 Pedro Ramos 1961 1961 1961 26-26 42 3 11 20 2 264.1 174 3.95 Pinar del Rio, Cuba
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 3/23/2016.

Cuban players with at least on plate appearance for the Twins (includes pitchers)

Rk Player Year From To Age G PA R H HR RBI BA
1 Kendrys Morales 2014 2014 2014 31-31 39 162 12 36 1 18 .234 Fomento, Cuba
2 Livan Hernandez 2008 2008 2008 33-33 23 3 0 1 0 1 .500 Villa Clara, Cuba
3 Tony Oliva 1976 1962 1976 23-37 1676 6880 870 1917 220 947 .304 Pinar del Rio, Cuba
4 Leo Cardenas 1971 1969 1971 30-32 473 1938 193 453 39 210 .263 Matanzas, Cuba
5 Minnie Mendoza 1970 1970 1970 36-36 16 16 2 3 0 2 .188 Ceiba del Agua, Cuba
6 Luis Tiant 1970 1970 1970 29-29 18 36 7 13 0 4 .406 Marianao, Cuba
7 Jackie Hernandez 1968 1967 1968 26-27 112 247 14 39 2 20 .172 Central Tinguaro, Cuba
8 Hank Izquierdo 1967 1967 1967 36-36 16 28 4 7 0 2 .269 Matanzas, Cuba
9 Sandy Valdespino 1967 1965 1967 26-28 259 491 58 99 4 34 .220 San Jose de las Lajas, Cuba
10 Zoilo Versalles 1967 1961 1967 21-27 1065 4500 564 1046 86 401 .252 La Habana, Cuba
11 Camilo Pascual 1966 1961 1966 27-32 186 509 35 100 4 52 .215 La Habana, Cuba
12 Julio Becquer 1963 1961 1963 29-31 58 87 14 20 5 18 .238 La Habana, Cuba
13 Mike Fornieles 1963 1963 1963 31-31 11 6 1 1 0 1 .167 La Habana, Cuba
14 Marty Martinez 1962 1962 1962 20-20 37 24 13 3 0 3 .167 La Habana, Cuba
15 Bert Cueto 1961 1961 1961 23-23 7 8 1 0 0 0 .000 San Luis, Cuba
16 Pedro Ramos 1961 1961 1961 26-26 53 100 8 16 3 11 .172 Pinar del Rio, Cuba
17 Jose Valdivielso 1961 1961 1961 27-27 76 158 15 29 1 9 .195 Matanzas, Cuba
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 3/23/2016.

Tony OlivaI think it is interesting to note that in the 60’s the Twins had a rich pipeline to Cuban players but the last Cuban player to play in a Twins uniform that was actually signed as an amateur free agent by the club was Tony Oliva in 1976, that is a long dry spell.

Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro

Did Fidel Castro really have a big league tryout with the Washington Senators?

Cuba Baseball Hall of Fame

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