Let me share two childhood memories of growing up Cuba.
The first one is the political turmoil and upheaval that turned Cuba upside down in the early 60's. It finally led to our departure in '64.
My second memory is more pleasant or baseball.
It seems that my dad took my brother and I to the baseball doubleheader every Sunday.
I don't remember a lot but I do recall Orestes "Minnie" Minoso getting booed because the fans did not think that he was running out a ground ball.
My favorite player was Camilo Pascual, who would go on to win 174 games in the majors with the Senators/Twins.
There were many young Cuban players who who were destined for the majors----Cookie Rojas, Leo Cardenas, Pedro Ramos, Mike Cuellar, Tony Gonzalez, etc. I remember watching them before they left the island and pursued careers in the majors.
Before Castro, great players like Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and Satchel Paige played in the island.
The Yankees played spring exhibitions. The Negro League teams were very popular because many Cubans were on the rosters.
In the 50's, Tommy Lasorda, Willie Mays, "Rifleman" Connors and Brooks Robinson played winter ball in Cuba.
Every Cuban baseball fan should check out this great book about the history of Cuban baseball. Better than that, buy your Cuban mom or dad an "Almendares" or "Habana" baseball cap!