Baseball Diplomacy Gives New Hope To Cubans With MLB Dreams

For the first time in decades, Cubans will be able to play in the MLB without defecting from their home country.

By Connor Hickox, Zach Toombs | March 25, 2016

"All of us hope to play in the Major Leagues," a young baseball player said.

Over the past 50 years, the U.S. and Cuba have disagreed about a lot, but one thing they've shared is baseball. President Barack Obama knows that, and that's why he's here at Estadio Latinoamericano with Raul Castro taking in Tuesday's game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team.

As you pass houses and apartments, you can hear the TVs in the apartments. You can hear the game as you're passing by — every door. Everybody's watching the game.

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"It's my biggest dream; my biggest dream is to play baseball professionally," another young player said.

"We're in class from 8 to 12," the first player said. "After we finish our teaching schedule, we finish and we come here to train four or five hours a day."

Opening relations between the U.S. and Cuba means aspiring MLB players will no longer have to defect from their home country to play in the majors, as they have for decades.

"If I got the opportunity, I would want to play for the Yankees," a third player said. "It's a dream of any athlete to play [in the MLB] because it's the best in the world."

This video includes images from Getty Images.

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