Most of us will be working later today when the Cuban National Team takes the field against the Tampa Bay Rays in Havana, Cuba. But the fact will not be lost that this is a significant day both for baseball and history.
Because while there remains deep and lasting political differences between our two countries, the common thread of baseball joins our cultures together in a way that overwhelms those fissures. No doubt, the contingent of participants like Derek Jeter and David Archer were carefully selected and everyone has been groomed for this event.
But from the moment we hear that common refrain “Play Ball “, a competition will begin that is at least, and perhaps even more, spirited than political dialogue we’ve witnessed over the past day or so.
Hopefully, this is just a beginning of a long association between Major League Baseball and Cuba. And beyond even that, perhaps we can hope for a day when Cuban players as well as citizens do not have to risk their lives on faulty rafts to seek a better life………. And that Cuba itself will be a place where its citizens do not see a reason to flee from. If that happens, we can look back and thank baseball for its contribution. It all begins today…….