For the first time in nearly 20 years, an American professional major league baseball team visited the Caribbean island of Cuba in a truly historic event yesterday. The Tampa Bay Rays were invited to play against the Cuban team, which the Rays defeated 4-1 at the end of the game. But at the end of the day, the score didn’t really matter as this was truly a step forward in politics between the United States and Cuba as well as controversial topics such as high Cuban defection to the United States to play in the MLB.
Several Cuban players grace the biggest stage in the world from Yoenis Cespedes to Aroldis Chapman. They all had to go through the same journey to get the chance to play in America. President Barack Obama was in attendance, sitting alongside Cuba’s Raul Castro. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and longtime face of the sport Derek Jeter were also in attendance for the historic event.
At the Estadio Latinoamericano, James Loney clobbed a two-run home run to push the lead to three runs for the Rays during the game. Later, Cuban player Reyes scored the only run for the Cuban team, hitting a monster shot out of the park.
Some questioned Obama’s presence at the game and in the country due to yesterday’s Belgium attacks, but President Obama maintained that terrorists aimed to disrupt everyday life and he was determined to not give in to what he believed was their goal.
In a game that had several political implications, it was nice to see two nearby countries participate in a peaceful event of something they both agree is the amazing sport of baseball.