The first few chapters of Raceball by Rob Ruck were extremely informative. I learned a lot more about baseball than I knew before, especially about its influence on Cuba. I lived in Cuba as a kid, and watched people play baseball and soccer in the streets, but I never knew how much of an impact baseball had for Cuba and so many other countries.
My favorite part in these first 3 chapters was towards the end of chapter one where Rick says that the Cubans were the ones who brought baseball to the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and the Yucatan, not the U.S Marines. Even though the Marines were the ones who introduced the sport to the Cubans during their occupation there, the Cubans took over and made it their own.
The introduction of this book talks about the many different african americans and latinos that are now playing in the MLB, but they also mention the decline of black players and the major increase of ;atino players. Gary Sheffield in 2007 even made a comment on it, mentioning that the white owners are only hiring latino players because they were “easier to control” and that they were “whites that did not speak english”. It then goes on to mention that in the 1890s the MLB regulations prohibited african americans to play in the sport professionally.
Thus bring it back to how the Cubans play the sport. From the beginning of baseball being played in Cuba, it was always interracial, and since Cuba was the one that brought baseball to all those other countries, it was played internationally there as well, no one was turned away based on the color of their skin or their racial backgrounds. I thought that this was very interesting and progressive, considering the Americans looked down on these other countries, but during the early 1900s Cuba was like the United states “baby”. So the fact that they were being more progressive than the U.S. was great (at least to me) but frustrating to americans.