So, there have been 181 Major League Baseball players from Cuba [population 11 million], 230 from Puerto Rico [population 3.5 million] [which is kind of like America, despite its second class political status], and 557 from the Dominican Republic [population 9.5 million].
My friend, who cares not about baseball, asked me last week what normalized American relations with Cuba would mean for the MLB.
And my skin tingled.
Some facts to ponder:
- The MLB has been in Canada. Still is. So foreign countries aren’t a problem.
- Washington, DC has a team, and it’s not even a state.
- Cuba is closer to continental USA than Montreal was.
- Cuba has a large and INCREDIBLY COMMITTED fan base, and their players had to leap over the defection hurdle to get to play, so there are likely more professional calibre players than that 181.
- If Cuba gets a team, the DR and PR would have a pretty strong case of “us too.” Then maybe Mexico and Venezuela.
So, I’ll be pondering this for 2015.