All throughout the semester we have learned about different themes that that have affect the Americas and their sports. Sports have always impacted the world in great ways so it is important to understand why they do or how they affect us. I did my project on Cuban baseball and the exhibition games that occurred in 1999 and 2016. I talked about the Cuban and American relations before the exhibition games and after. I talked about how the sport of baseball was able to bring more people together and how this one sport helped bring Cuba and the US closer together. I got a lot of information from the book The Pride of Havana: A History of Cuban Baseball written by González Echevarría, Roberto https://sportsamericas.rwanysibaja.com/readings/readings-private-access/. The reading talks about the history of baseball in Cuba and shares some backstory on the sport in Cuba. Reading this chapter of the book was very good research for my project because it helped me understand how important baseball was to Cuba and to Cubans. I found this interesting because normally when people think of Cuba they think of Fidel Castro or the Cuban Missile crisis.

But for me always I thought of baseball because that is just what I paid attention to as a kid. All of these Cuban players came over to America to play Major League Baseball. But as a kid I never thought about the Cuban leagues that these players had to play in before they played in MLB. So reading this article was good for me because it educated me in the leagues that were started in Cuba. But back to my project, I talk about how baseball brought two rival countries closer together. In 1999 the Baltimore Orioles played the Cuban National team in Havana Cuba. This was huge because ever since the 1960s there was an embargo on Cuba due to the rising of their dictator Fidel Castro. So in 1999 it was a huge deal that an entire baseball team was sent there to play against the Cuban national team. Then a couple weeks later they were then allowed to play again and to come to play in Baltimore. Then in 2016 the Tampa Bay Rays went to Havana Cuba to play against the Cuban National team again. So out of everything people could do politically the only thing that brought the US and Cuba closer together was the sport of baseball. Which is a common theme in sports and in this class. The fact that sports brings everyone closer together is a major theme in this class and it can be seen in this story. It is shown in the article A World Without Sports. The article talks about the current pandemic and what the world is like without its sports. It talks about how sports is almost like a religion to some people, myself included. In the article it talks about how sports bring us together. It talks about how different events in America have cancelled sports before but they always come back and it is important for them to come back. This ties in to my project because it shows how important sports really is to people and how much people actually need them. So when the Cuban National team and the Baltimore Orioles played in Havana Cuba in 1999 it was more than another baseball game. It was an event that would bring two enemies together for a chance to play baseball.  The power of baseball brings everyone together when they have been enemies for almost 40 years. And that is why the power to bring people together is one of the best and strongest themes that sports have.

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