Week 7 Patrick Rafferty

Within the United States, Americans tend to think Baseball is as American as apple pie but does one nation truly own this sport? Two articles explore these ideas The Pride of Havana A History of Cuban Baseball by Roberto Gonzlez Echevrria and Baseball, The Lost Cause, and the New South in Richmond , Virginia by Robert H. Gudmestad. Echerria states that kf one were to ask individuals who live throughout the Caribbean Islands, they would tell you the opposite, making the arguments that history shows that the game of Baseball is ingrained within Cuban, Hattian, and Puerto Rican culture. The citizens of these nations would even state that the sport goes back to before colonial times, with the Tainos people playing a game consider similar to todays baseball. Even within the United States Baseball means something different to different regions, an example being the baseball leagues of the late 1800s following the Civil War in Virginia. The Virginian baseball league of this time used the sport in order to keep alive the Lost Cause Myth of the Civil War, which in short states that the war was not about slavery, but about northern oppression of southern culture. This theme of racial tension is even found in Caribbean baseball and Cuban Africans and White Cubans found themselves rivaling each other, especially after the Spanish American War. Some would even immigrate to United States and enter into the nergo league of the MLB respectively. It is overwhelmingly clear that baseball has had a surreal effect on those in both countries.  

            Overall, I find the idea of Baseball making into all aspects of society interesting, Cuban Baseball means so much to the citizens of that nation, it’s more than just a pastime. Cuban’s see baseball as a sport that represents freedom from oppressors, since many of the heroes of early baseball fought for independence from Spain, and it also means to be oppressed, as seen by the Afro-Cubans who played during the late 1800s early 1900s. It is simply fascinating how baseball can wiggle its way through a nation’s history connecting so many major events without directly causing said events or making them worse or better. It is even sadder to see how Baseball can keep a racist narrative alive in society through the individuals who play the sport as seen in the Virginian Baseball Clubs. In the end, these two articles were Enlightening

2 Thoughts on “Week 7 Patrick Rafferty

  1. Hey Patrick!

    I think you bring up a great question, can anyone really claim the rights to a single sport. I also found it intresting reading the articles that Cubans saw the games as a way to practice freedom. I think that the game presented those who were seeking independence a source of commonality. I think it would be fascinating to see if baseball was the rallying force of the independence movement in Cuba. Furthrmore, does baseball still represent freedom from oppressors or has it shifted over time?

  2. Hello Patrick!
    Opening up with your question on whether or not a country can own a sport is a great segue into beginning a discussion. I felt as though the reading this week definitely show that a sport can start somewhere but it does not mean that the country of origin owns said sport. While baseball originated within the United States, both Cuba and Puerto Rico embraced the sport and soon made it identifiably their own. I liked how later within your post you focused on what baseball meant too many Cubans, how it meant freedom from their oppressors. These readings truly showed how important sports can be to other cultures than the United States. Much like Andrew in the previous response, I do wonder if baseball still holds the same hope and feeling of freedom from oppressors. I would assume that it can still give a strong sense of freedom to those who play it, though the feeling may have shifted over time to not be as strong. On another note I agree with you how it is incredibly fascinating that baseball has intertwined its way into the culture and history, as well as directly being the cause of some events in Cuban history. I think you brought up many good points that will add greatly into the discussions in class, I look forward to class and the discussion we have yet to have!

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