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Once More Cuba Enters International Play with a Pitching Handicap

On the eve of the summer’s second important international event Team Cuba already faces what is becoming an all-too familiar scenario – a mound corps reduced to bare minimum before the first pitch is tossed and the first bat swung. Villa Clara southpaw Misael Silverio left the team hotel in West Des Moines on Tuesday evening to pursue his dream of joining the North American professionals and eventually earning his fortunes with Major League Baseball. The defection came shortly after the team’s arrival via tour bus from their original USA arrival point in Chicago.

Drama-Filled Schiller Rule Lid-lifter Gives Team USA Early Advantage

Finally we have escaped all the pre-series hype – all the idle chatter concerning Cuban player defections, speculations on untested potentials for major league celebrity and lavish professional paychecks, or reports of ominous packs of unscrupulous North American player agents circling a well-guarded Cuban camp – and at long last we have moved on to pure baseball as provided by the amateur sport at its very best.

USA Pitchers and Shoddy Catching Kill Team Cuba in Friendly Series

This year’s renewal of the long-anticipated Cuba-USA “friendly series” has looked pretty one-sided if one stares only at box scores or printed game results. Four straight nail-biting one-run losses at the hands of the American collegians is certainly not what either the collective Cuban fandom or the Cuban Federation baseball brain trust had in mind.

Conrado Marrero Departs Two Days Short of Landmark Birthday 103 and Baseball Loses its Oldest Survivor

Note: On Wednesday morning (April 23, 2014) Conrado Marrero passed away quietly in his native Havana, Cuba, marking the end to one of the most celebrated and tenacious baseball lives on record. The sad news comes less than two days before the seemingly ageless Cuban legend would have reached his 103rd birthday, extending a remarkable string as MLB’s oldest surviving alumnus and the third longest-lived professional baseball player ever.

Team Cuba Sweeps Back to Dominance in USA “Friendly” Series

It didn’t take long for the Cuban baseball forces to regain the momentum and fully atone for last summer’s embarrassing whitewashing on North American soil versus the USA Collegiate All-Stars. In a renewal five-game set that proved even more one-sided than last year’s blanking by the Americans, the youth-studded Cuban squad swept to five straight wins, including a trio of classic one-run-margin gems, and in the processes regained full control of the mid-summer showcase “Friendly Series” now in the third year of its present incarnation.

Peter C. Bjarkman: “Cuban Baseball Authorities Are Facing a Most Difficult Situation”

NB: The following interview was first published in Spanish on the Reynaldo Cruz site (Universo Béisbol). Here is the original English-language version of the full interview.

RC: You have been involved with researching and spreading the word about the history of Cuban baseball. When, how and why did you first become interested in this topic?