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Old 04-17-2018, 08:35 AM
Roofman4's Avatar
Roofman4 Roofman4 is offline
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Default Cruising to Cuba.

I am traveling (cruising) to Cuba next week. Anything to do or collect baseball related there? Does Topps or other card companies make Cuban League cards for sale there? If anyone has been there, were you able to see a game? Stadium? etc...

My hunch is they have tourist specific areas to contain outsiders but figured I would ask anyway. I have 3 days there.

Thanks
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Last edited by Roofman4; 04-17-2018 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 04-17-2018, 11:20 AM
36GoudeyMan 36GoudeyMan is offline
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Default Be careful

We went to Cuba on Fathom (now out of business) last year, when it was more "open" than it is now. As it was, we were very limited in where we could go. I asked a lot about baseball,m but our official tour guides knew very little. There was NO chance to wander side streets or small towns to look for older Cuban stuff. I found some 1960s-1970s Cuban items in the area near the Havana pier, but it was bad shape and bad content; nothing historic or important from a quick look.

Now, with the island much more closed off and supervised, I would extremely careful about wandering off from any organized or escorted tours you are on. If you can, though, be very careful of tourist offering that look legit but are manufactured to look vintage. Entrepreneurs know what some tourists are looking for.

Also, be very careful because 100% certainty you are being watched or followed. It isn't nefarious, but the government is very conscious of influx of potential sources of outside influence and anti-government sentiment. When we were there, everyone was VERY Excited to see real Americans. Shaking hands everywhere, etc. It was also very sad: as we walked down one street to a cathedral, a baker (through his storefront window) offered to trade a loaf of bread for a pen. These are generally decent, caring people who are badly oppressed and economically stunted, and policy shifts only play with their emotions and expectation. I wish I could have wandered Cienfuego or Santiago de Cuba to look for old clippings, cards, whatever, but there was noway we could do it, and I doubt there is any better chance now, sad to say.

Nevertheless, its still an amazing place to visit, and I hope you do have a great time!!!!
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:45 PM
Griffins Griffins is offline
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I was there in '15, so things might have changed. But we had no restrictions from the Cubans on where we could go (we had a lot of restrictions from the US due to our permits) and could wander pretty much anywhere. I looked around for anything related but other than at games and La Esquina Caliente saw nothing, and certainly nothing collectable.

In the Parque Central, on the edge of Havana Vieja, there is a part of the park designated for the discussion of baseball. La Esquina Caliente ("the hot corner) is a gathering of fanatical baseball fans, and the discussion is quite lively. I have very basic Spanish speaking skills, but it was fine. They were welcoming and I was asked a lot of questions and answered in English, which was translated for those not bilingual. It was a lot of fun. If you watch one of Anthony Bourdain's first Cuba programs on Netflix the area is featured.

I took a bunch of old caps and tshirts and traded them for food, cigars, rum, tours, whatever they'd offer, I'd leave it up to them. Kids got baseballs and my sons jerseys and caps for a high five. Pretty much everyone loved baseball and was so happy to talk about it with Americans.

You'll love it, one of the most friendly and photogenic places in the world.
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Old 04-18-2018, 12:13 PM
Onlineracing Onlineracing is offline
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I went last year on a cruise and saw sandlot games with kids, but most of our time was spent on bus tours. We did pass a few baseball stadiums but did not have access to any.
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