Major League Cuban Baseball
Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023 at 4 p.m. on KPBS 2 / Stream now with the PBS App
"Major League Cuban Baseball" traces the experiences of Cubans at the most accomplished levels of America's national pastime – baseball – and explores their deep cultural and emotional connection to the game. The program documents Cuban ball players’ presence in the budding American professional leagues of the late 1800s, and their impact on American baseball in the early 20th century.
Between 1911 and 1929 alone, 17 Cuban-born Caucasian players played in the major leagues, while Afro-Cuban players integrated into the Negro leagues and became prominent fixtures. The documentary also delves into baseball in post-revolution Cuba, when professional sports were banned on the island and many players made the difficult decision to leave for the U.S. For the hundreds of thousands of Cuban exiles who fled their country, baseball served as an elixir and the Cuban big leaguers were their heroes.
Weaving archival footage with interviews from historians, baseball fans, journalists, and former major leaguers Camilo Pascual, Orestes Destrade, and Tony Perez, "Major League Cuban Baseball" chronicles the history of Cubans in the major leagues, documents the influence of baseball on Cuban culture, and examines the impact of Cubans and Cuban-Americans on the game.
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