“Last Seasons in Havana: The Castro Revolution and the
End of Professional Baseball in Cuba”
by Cesar Brioso
Fidel Castro was a big baseball fan and loved the game. It has been disproven that he ever played the game. However, baseball was huge in Cuba in the 1950s with plenty of fans and high-quality baseball players all over the island.
There were minor league teams in Cuba along with the Cuban League. That is until Castro overthrew the government of Fulgencio Batista in Cuba. All that changed. The huge crowds that attended the Havana Sugar Kings game that was the AAA affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds could not risk being caught in military fighting. Shootings were common in the area and with military force in and around the stadium things began to fall apart.
The book by Cesar Brioso interjects great stories from former baseball players and coaches such as Carl Yaztremski and Tommy Lasorda. Hearing from Camilio Pasqual is equally entertaining as he was one of a few players that escaped the dictatorship of Castro.
The book is a good read that provides some history on and around the overthrow of the government and how the United States had to deal with this politically, militarily, and the impact of baseball.