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West Hartford Baseball Team Embarks on Historic Mission To Cuba

A group of young baseball players from West Hartford are in Cuba for a week to play baseball and distribute supplies in the town of Holguin. 

The USA/Cuba Goodwill Tour is the first of its kind in the U.S.

The 18-member team, all 14-year-olds, will play games against local teams, visit schools, and get to know the Cuban players and the city of Holguin.

The trip is organized by Teen Cultures Connect, a non-profit charitable organization, and is paid for by donations and other fundraising efforts.

To prepare for the trip, the players spent the winter learning about Cuban history and culture.

The players also learned some Spanish, including Spanish baseball terms that might be useful during the games.

Ben Giroux, the team's catcher, said he's proud to be an ambassador for his country. He's also predicting some pretty lopsided games.

"Yeah, I don't think we are going to do too well compared to the Cubans, because year 'round, all they do is baseball," he said.

The West Hartford players will be distributing donated baseball equipment, as well as musical instruments, school supplies, and dental kits to the children of Holguin.

Organizers said they are now working on the second phase of the project, bringing a team of players from Holguin to West Hartford this summer to play ball and learn about American culture.

Holguin, Cuba in 2012.
Marcel601 / Creative Commons
Holguin, Cuba in 2012.

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