Quote: “Baseball was a powerful force in the democratization and secularization of Cuban culture, at least as an ideal, if not quite so in practice.”

While under the reign of the Spanish, Cuba experienced what many other imperialist owned nations went through. They were faced with a restrictive and conservative culture. One that did not allow for any kind of alteration in social class. That said, it is important to know that there had been no real shift in this regard until sports were engendered into society. For Cuba, baseball proved to be the long awaited change in the previously rigid, and exploitive imperial system. With the arrival of Americans, baseball found a new home in Cuba which was immediately embraced by the people there. So much so, Cubans hate to include the part where Americans brought the game to them in their mythical anecdotes. So now that I have laid a general framework of the situation, why is the quote I chose important? Before I read these pages from Roberto Echevarriá, I had no idea that baseball had such a significant role in altering the entire cultural and even political identity of Cuba at that time. The reading goes into much detail regarding why baseball, in particular, became Cuba’s national sport. The chapter even discusses how baseball differs itself from other popular European sports that were received by countries like Cuba. One example being the way baseball elevates itself based on the movements. It was said to have influenced and encouraged progressive ideas about movement and how sensual it was. Even the way baseball players dressed was seen as explicit compared to the normal attire of the elite who were fully covered from head to toe. It may seem like a minor and insignificant piece of the pie but even this idea sparked controversy and was an important step in the more secular direction. Furthermore, baseball, like sports today, gave opportunities to the poorer demographic who had previously had no chance in advancing up the economic ladder. The last part of the quote is an interesting distinction that the author includes. He seems to be referring to the difference in class and how each group took on the sport. The wealthy, though less in number bestowed much of the power and it would take decades for these aristocrats to start implementing this new and progressive ideal into their daily lives.