The Tampa Rays played (and defeated) the Cuban National team yesterday in Havana and President Barak Obama and his family were in attendance along with Raul Castro and a host of other dignitaries. The game marks the second time since 1959 that an American team has played in Cuba — the Baltimore Orioles defeated the national team, 3-2, in Havana in 1999. It will be interesting to see how the baseball relationship between these two baseball loving countries takes shape in the next few years.
The Minnesota Twins and the island of Cuba have a long history and it goes back to the 1960’s prior to the Washington Senators becoming the Minnesota Twins in 1961. The relationship between Calvin Griffith and Joe “Papa Joe” Cambria was an interesting one. The Senators/Twins had a nice Cuban pipeline going for a number of years.