Baseball may be America’s Pastime, but it’s just as much a part of the culture in Cuba, where it’s essentially the national sport. Loyal fans follow the National Series, which runs from November to April and involves 16 teams from Havana and each of the provinces. In Havana’s Parque Central, baseball enthusiasts debate the game with so much passion that the spot where they gather is called the esquina caliente, or “hot corner.” Sundays at the city’s Ciudad Deportiva sports complex are busy with youth games from morning until early afternoon. While leading a tour to Cuba last November, I stopped by the sports complex with some members of my group. We arrived as the morning activities were wrapping up, just in time to catch the final out of the only game that was still going on. I barely had time to get my camera in position to snap these photos of the victorious team celebrating.
Afterward, we wandered over to another field where some other boys had recently finished up their own game. I took this photo of one of the boys during the team’s post-game stretching exercises.