Cuba Ball tour, March 2005

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Damn, this year's itinerary looks even better than '04 (when I went):

http://www.hellocuba.ca/cubaball/


I'm just now paying off the cost of the trip, but you should go once if at all possible. (We met Connie Marrero and Eddy Martin, but not Martin Dihigo Jr). Unfortunately, Americans can't be licensed this year (thanks GWB) as I was (bringing about 25 pounds of humanitarian aid with me).

The tour chief, Kit Krieger, is a great guy (based in Vancouver) and will be helpful if any Yanks want to risk flouting the travel restriction. Click on the "American friends" tab for this info. It's a baseball world that certainly won't exist in 20 years, or maybe ten.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Friday, 21 January 2005 16:31 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"It's a baseball world that certainly won't exist in 20 years, or maybe ten."

say what?

i've kinda dreamed about going to the dominican and yeah cuba too and watching me some baseball, but it'll prolly have to wait, like, a really long time.

John (jdahlem), Friday, 21 January 2005 17:58 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Any "post-Castro" Cuba will likely change the antiquarian feel of the games and stadia. (ie, no advertising or blaring Queen anthems)

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Friday, 21 January 2005 18:04 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Not really related, but a friend of mine is in the Dominican for work and the lady who he's working with ran into Manny Ramirez at the airport while waiting for my friend and gave him an autographed ball, not a bad way to start off a trip. He's trying to get tickets for the Dominican Winter League playoffs, I forget which team, it's the one that Miguel Tejada and Pedro Feliz play for.

gygax! (gygax!), Friday, 21 January 2005 18:07 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Damn, that's a lot of money. I thought Cuba was cheaper.

milozauckerman (miloaukerman), Friday, 21 January 2005 21:56 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

three months pass...
Toronto Globe & Mail story on the oldest living Washington Senator, Havana resident Conrado Marrero (who I've seen chomp on one huge unlit cigar), and Cubaball tour guide Kit Krieger:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20050503/BCBASEBALL03/

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 4 May 2005 13:18 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
from Kit Krieger of the annual Cubaball tour, which leaves in 2 weeks (I hope Fidel survives until they return)... I was with them when this incident occurred:

Earlier this week I spoke with Orestes "Minnie" Minoso for about 30-40 minutes. ...I told Minoso about having met a Cuban minor leaguer, Mickey Montalvo, whose picture taken with Minoso in Municipal Stadium in Cleveland c. 1955 or 1956 is on display in the lobby of the Hotel Pinar del Rio. Those who participated in the 2004 tour will remember an amazing exchange between me and the security guard at the Hotel Pinar del Rio. I asked the guard who was standing next to Minoso (both in uniform) and he said that it was the local ballplayer, Montalvo, and that Montalvo had played with the Indians. I said that I thought he had not played in the bigs, believing that I knew the name of just about everyone who had played in the major leagues at the time. We agreed to disagree. Fifteen minutes later, the guard returned to our group, Montalvo in hand. He had gone to Montalvo's home to get him to tell me the truth. Turned out Montalvo was called up to the Indians late in the season, but did not get into a game! Montalvo, who spoke excellent English (he played for Indianapolois in the American Association with Rocky Colavito), came to the game with us and gave me a wonderful photocopy of the Minoso photo and inscribed it to me. Minoso told me that he had recommended that Montalvo be signed by the Indians and said that they were very close. I have asked that Montalvo join us again at the game we will attend in Pinar.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 27 January 2007 17:23 (eleven years ago) Permalink

How does this group get around the embargo travel issues?

milo z (mlp), Saturday, 27 January 2007 17:40 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Flights out of Montreal or DF Mexico.

Milo, read The Wrong Stuff.

Steve Shasta (Steve Shasta), Saturday, 27 January 2007 22:04 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I thought that the Bush was cracking down on those methods as well - getting your travel plans from airlines and so on, as you can still be punished even going through a neutral country). Maybe that was just scare tactics post-911.

Do you mean the Spaceman biog?

milo z (mlp), Saturday, 27 January 2007 22:58 (eleven years ago) Permalink

The trip is run by Canadians. The year I went I received a humanitarian-travel license to go.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 29 January 2007 14:40 (eleven years ago) Permalink

six months pass...

Finally bought this documentary at the SABR convention, which was shot on the 2004 Cuba Ball tour. (I appear Waldolike in 5 or 6 shots.)

http://thebasesareloaded.com/

Dr Morbius, Thursday, 2 August 2007 14:52 (eleven years ago) Permalink

ten months pass...

http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2008/07/cuban_baseball200807?printable=true¤tPage=all

Michael Lewis on Cuban Baseball (with a lot on Kit Krieger mentioned above by Morb-o.)

Alex in SF, Wednesday, 11 June 2008 18:42 (ten years ago) Permalink

cool! I heard from Kit this was coming. (Alas I couldn't contribute any photos of myself in Che's crypt.)

Dr Morbius, Wednesday, 11 June 2008 18:53 (ten years ago) Permalink

It's amazing piece. I'm only 3/4's of the way through it.

Alex in SF, Wednesday, 11 June 2008 18:59 (ten years ago) Permalink

I'll probably buy a print copy. Would love to go again, if President Obama reverses course and lifts the travel ban!

Dr Morbius, Wednesday, 11 June 2008 20:39 (ten years ago) Permalink

he hasn't actually ruled out lifting it, you know

gabbneb, Wednesday, 11 June 2008 21:21 (ten years ago) Permalink

It's amazing piece.

David R., Friday, 13 June 2008 15:37 (ten years ago) Permalink

(Bolding & quoting because I agree, not because of grammatical lols)

David R., Friday, 13 June 2008 15:38 (ten years ago) Permalink

great portrait of KK (among others). "Mickey Mantle told me to fuck off once."

Dr Morbius, Friday, 13 June 2008 17:13 (ten years ago) Permalink

six months pass...

Cuban League strikeout takes 85 minutes:

http://bjarkmanlatinobaseball.mlblogs.com/archives/2008/12/85minute_strikeout_latest_oddi.html

Dr Morbius, Monday, 29 December 2008 16:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Cubaball is planning a tour of the eastern half of the island for the first time, at the end of March -- to include Guantanamo! (not the camp) Cost (airfare separate) is $1,899 to $2099 US.

Also it may be the last-ever tour as majordomo Krieger may take a new job.

Dr Morbius, Friday, 6 February 2009 15:48 (nine years ago) Permalink

can we, as americans, take part in this?

JtM Is Ruled By A Black Man (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Friday, 6 February 2009 16:48 (nine years ago) Permalink

ah ha. read the faq

JtM Is Ruled By A Black Man (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Friday, 6 February 2009 16:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

the Bush Treasury Dept approved US visitors in 2004 (no other year)

don't think I ever posted the current URL:

http://www.cubaballtours.com/

Dr Morbius, Friday, 6 February 2009 16:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Cubaball Tours will conduct two tours of Cuba in 2011. For the first time, the program will include a tour of the eastern provinces and games in Santiago de Cuba, Guantanamo (the province and not the prison), Las Tunas and Camaguey. The eastern tour is scheduled from February 6-14) and the western tour, based in Havana, from February 15-23. The western tour features games in Havana, Matanzas, Habana province and Pinar del Rio and includes two games between archrivals Santiago de Cuba and Industriales. This is a rivalry that makes the Red Sox-Yankees pale in comparison. Fifty thousand will be seated at Estadio Latinoamericano four hours before the first pitch is thrown!

A highlight of the tours, as always, will be visits with veteran Cuban players from the Cuban winter leagues and Conrado "Connie" Marrero, the last surviving major leaguer in Cuba. We will visit Marrero at his Havana apartment to hear his stories and to celebrate his 100th birthday a little before its April 25th date. Both tours will include visits to La Tropical, home of professional baseball in Cuba from 1930-46 and the baseball monuments/graves at Havana's Cristobal Colon cemetery. Visit the Cubaball website (www.cubaballtours.com) for registration information.

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 13 November 2010 17:49 (eight years ago) Permalink

O____________O

JIMMY MOD THE SACK MASTER (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Saturday, 13 November 2010 18:22 (eight years ago) Permalink

The tour will also play a friendly game of pepper on Castro's campo blanco field rendered from the alabaster skull chips of 25,000 state enemies.

sanskrit, Sunday, 14 November 2010 05:39 (eight years ago) Permalink

No, but in '04 we had a catch in front of the Mural de la Prehistoria.

http://www.absolut-cuba.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/mural-1.jpg

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Monday, 15 November 2010 17:00 (eight years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Very weird.

Fig On A Plate Cart (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 29 December 2010 15:58 (seven years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

Conrado Marrero, now the oldest ex-MLB player, turns 100 on the 25th:

http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=41255

your generation appalls me (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 16 April 2011 05:46 (seven years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

Jan 18-26:

http://sabr.org/latest/sign-baseball-tour-cuba-january-2012

incredibly middlebrow (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 7 September 2011 02:23 (seven years ago) Permalink

six months pass...

Connie Marrero, nearly 101 and blind, to get an MLB pension:

http://www.npr.org/2012/03/23/149080927/at-100-cuban-all-star-to-get-a-pension-at-last

Literal Facepalms (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 25 March 2012 14:36 (six years ago) Permalink

six months pass...

I know the cost would be an obstacle for most of you (tho worth every buck imho), but this is still the best trip I've ever taken.

Cubaball Tours will conduct its 11th annual tour from January 25-February 2, 2013. As in the past, tour highlights include attendance at five or six games of the Cuban National Series, visits to history baseball locales such as La Tropical Stadium and the baseball monuments at Havana's Cemetery, and, schedule permitting, the grave of Martin Dihigo. The highlight of each tour is an audience with Conrado "Connie" Marrero, 101 years of age and the oldest living major leaguer. For more information and to register, visit http://www.prime-travel.com/cubaball_form_submit.asp or contact Kit Krieger at ejkrie✧✧✧@s✧✧✧.c✧.

cancer, kizz my hairy irish azz (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 16 October 2012 15:21 (six years ago) Permalink

six months pass...
four months pass...

shit, might be time for me to go back.

http://sabr.org/latest/sign-now-2014-baseball-tour-cuba

Miss Arlington twirls for the Coal Heavers (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 14 September 2013 15:19 (five years ago) Permalink

btw I probably saw Alexei Ramirez play for Pinar del Rio in 2004

Miss Arlington twirls for the Coal Heavers (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 17 September 2013 15:08 (five years ago) Permalink

how much was it?

The Dance Twerking Was MADE So (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Tuesday, 17 September 2013 16:12 (five years ago) Permalink

I don't remember, but this year it's $2599 (with a supplement of $50 if you lodge solo).

http://www.prime-travel.com/tours/cubaball-tours/

Miss Arlington twirls for the Coal Heavers (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 17 September 2013 16:15 (five years ago) Permalink

that's a supplement of $450

Miss Arlington twirls for the Coal Heavers (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 17 September 2013 16:15 (five years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

So now what?

At one point Wednesday, M.L.B. became so concerned about the reaction to Obama’s announcement that it sent a directive to its 30 teams pointing out that it remained illegal to scout players in Cuba, or to sign them, because the American embargo of the island remained in effect....

Peter C. Bjarkman, a Cuban baseball historian, noted that the Cuban government had recently adopted a policy that allowed players to join teams in Mexico and Japan. But major league clubs in the United States are a different matter.

“The Cubans want their players to now have more experience and to play professionally overseas and earn some money,” Bjarkman said. “But there is a condition: They want those players to play in the Cuban league in the winter. Otherwise they will be throwing up their hands.”

Major league teams, however, would probably not agree to allow Cuban players to spend entire winters playing baseball back home, reasoning that the injury risk would be too great.

“This is an issue that’s going to be debated in Cuba now,” Bjarkman said. “They want to utilize baseball resources to bring more money into the country, but they don’t want to sell their league to North America.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/18/sports/baseball/for-baseball-cuba-is-front-and-center.html

things lose meaning over time (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 18 December 2014 16:58 (three years ago) Permalink

eleven months pass...
two years pass...

if you'd like to go in late September

https://sabr.org/latest/cubaball-tours-announces-2018-dates

the ignatius rock of ignorance (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 14 July 2018 20:06 (five months ago) Permalink

three months pass...

so i'll be there in late Nov – but am having hard time divining if there are going to be any actual baseball games going on while i'm there.

Mad Piratical (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Wednesday, 17 October 2018 18:41 (one month ago) Permalink

i am confident that there'll be actual baseball games, but discovering when and where does seem awfully complicated. maybe ask this guy for tips? https://twitter.com/baseballdecuba

mookieproof, Wednesday, 17 October 2018 19:13 (one month ago) Permalink

What we call the regular season, they call the National Series, and it runs from August thru late December.

http://www.baseballdecuba.com/2018-19-Cuban-Baseball-Season-Schedule-Released?language=en

There's a schedule link, but it only shows the results of the first half.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 17 October 2018 19:31 (one month ago) Permalink

yup. i found that and found it mildly infuriating.

Mad Piratical (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Wednesday, 17 October 2018 19:54 (one month ago) Permalink

also - anyone have an idea what players might be worth checking out? are there any left?!

Mad Piratical (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Wednesday, 17 October 2018 19:54 (one month ago) Permalink

my understanding is the talent pool is not what it was when i went 14 years ago... or 5 years ago

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 17 October 2018 21:04 (one month ago) Permalink

i suppose it doesn't matter anyways since i cannot find an actual schedule to save my life right now.

Mad Piratical (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Friday, 19 October 2018 14:43 (one month ago) Permalink

you should definitely go to a game. write to Kit Krieger (Cuba Ball, based in Vancouver) if necessary.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Friday, 19 October 2018 14:52 (one month ago) Permalink


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