CUBA'S SURPRISING 2019 BASEBALL SEASON
CUBA’S 2019 BASEBALL SEASON
Cubans have several passions and one of them is our love of baseball. The 2019 season captured the island’s attention last year, even among those of us who aren’t die hard baseball fans. The season was full of surprises, and being among the non-fans, I feel like taking the risk and telling you about the past National Baseball Series season.
The team from Camaguey Province was able to reach the championship series after thirteen years of not reaching the finals. As the Camaguey Bulls got closer to the finals their fans got more anxious, and you could feel their euphoria at the games. They created two Facebook groups, @borrotopapa and @tauropower, with hundreds of posts from fans across the island and around the world.
The Havana Lions only had memories of being in the playoffs, but this year they showed fans that they still had it in them. Manager Rey Vicente Anglada combed the lion’s mane, sharpened its claws, and the Lions battled into the playoffs.
Unlike in any other season, the 2019 Cuban National Series regular season ended with Camaguey having 53 wins and 42 loses, while the other three playoff teams, Havana, Matanzas, and Las Tunas were tied with 52 wins and 43 loses. But the best was still to come.
If baseball is our secular passion in Cuba, then santeria is our religious passion. We make our wishes known to the gods of our African religion, and during a game in Matanzas fans spotted a Yoruba priest praying during inning five next to the diamond. A few minutes later, after a few hits and scored runs, a chicken was seen on the field. Many believe it was this divine intervention that sealed Matanzas’ victory.
Whatever the case may be, the last game of the championship ended with the Matanzas Crocodiles winning the 2019-2020 Cuban National Baseball Series.
By Dina GomGar