Full Count: Inside Cuban Baseball (Writing Baseball)

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9780809324729: Full Count: Inside Cuban Baseball (Writing Baseball)
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In his comprehensive and vibrant picture of baseball in Cuba, Milton H. Jamail explores the sport’s relationship to U.S. baseball. Jamail, whose personal love of the game matches that of the Cubans, examines the roots and traditions of baseball on the island and explains why Cubans play such excellent baseball. His analysis of the development of Cuban baseball after the 1959 takeover by Fidel Castro includes a detailed description of the formation of the Cuban amateur baseball system that has dominated international competitions for more than three decades.

Before 1961, when the U.S. government severed diplomatic relations with Cuba and Castro abolished professional baseball, Cuba provided the bulk of the foreign players in the major leagues (more than one hundred since the color barrier was lifted in 1947). Major league interest in Cuban baseball remains high, Jamail notes, as he examines the changes necessary, both in the United States and Cuba, to return Cuban ballplayers to professional baseball in the United States. He discusses Cuban defectors, including Liván Hernández, and describes the intrigue surrounding agent Joe Cubas’s courting of Cuban players and his attempts to spirit them away when the Cuban national team plays outside the country.

An academic trained in Latin American politics, Jamail has spent twelve years as a Spanish-speaking journalist writing about Latinos and baseball. To write this book, he conducted extensive interviews with baseball officials, journalists, players, and fans in Cuba, as well as Cuban players who have defected. He also talked to scouts and front office people from U.S. baseball organizations.

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About the Author:

Milton H. Jamail, a regular contributor to Baseball America and USA Today Baseball Weekly since 1991, has published articles on Latin American baseball in the Washington Post, Texas Monthly, Hispanic, Vista, and the Houston Chronicle. Traveling frequently throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America, Jamail has interviewed professional baseball players from Latin America and front office personnel from each of the thirty major league teams concerning the recruitment of players from Latin America. He is also a lecturer in the Department of Government at the University of Texas at Austin.

Review:

A definitive and loving account of baseball, its history, and the people who play it.” Rod Beaton, USA Today

 



Milton Jamail’s Full Count: Inside Cuban Baseball, the product of years of research and firsthand reporting, is easily the most exhaustive and detailed look at contemporary Cuban baseball. That isn’t surprising, since Jamail is arguably our country’s leading expert on the topic.” Baseball America

 



Nobody understands Cuba’s passion for béisbol better than Milton Jamail. Part travelogue, part investigative report, Full Count covers all the bases.” Tim Wendel, author of Castro’s Curveball and contributing writer for USA Today Baseball Weekly

 

Jamail’s book is all about baseball and all about the remarkable passion the game arouses in Cuba . . . offering a complete and, at times, devastating picture of the life of a Cuban baseball player.” Business Week

 

Jamail is that rare combination of passionate fan and studious scholar. His book draws on both rich historical sources and the radio bemba,” the street gossip, to make it a scintillating, informative read.” Nine: A Journal of Baseball History & Culture

 

The story of Cuban baseball is both fascinating and important, and no one could tell it better than Milton Jamail. He is a complete professional with absolute integrity.” Omar Minaya, Assistant General Manager, New York Mets

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9780809323104: Full Count: Inside Cuban Baseball (Writing Baseball)

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Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press, 2000
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