Baseball in Cuba
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CUBAN BASEBALL STRUCTURE (Before 2008)
The Cuban Baseball Structure can be divided in two eras, before and after 1959. Before 1959, Cuba had a professional winter league. Anyone interested in this era can access the following link courtesy of Cesar Lopez of Cuban ball: cubanball.com
After 1959, Cuban baseball structure, number of teams and their names, has changed several times. The current structure has the Cuban National League and the Cuban Super League.
The two most important leagues in Cuba are the National League and the Super League.
The National League
It starts on November and ends in April. It consists of 90 games. All teams play each other. There are 16 teams.
The first places in each groups advance to the playoff. The two teams with the best records advances to the playoffs too. So you may have one group having 3 teams in the playoffs and one group having just one. The team with the best record plays the team with the worst record among the two non first place teams. Ex: In the 44 Cuban National Series, Pinar del Rio Cigar Makers was the only team from Group 1 that advanced to the playoff. In Group 2, Industriales Lions, Havana Cowboys and Santi Spiritus Roosters advanced.
Winners play for the league championship. The winner of each league plays for the Cuban crown. Current champion 44 national league 2004-05: Las Avispas de Santiago de Cuba (Wasps), Second place: Los Vaqueros de la Havana (Cowboys).
The National league is divided in two: West and East
Cuban Super League
Runs from April to May after the National league. The Super league only has 4 teams: Occidentales (Westeners), Havana, Centrales (Centrals) and Orientales (Easteners). It consists of 30 games. Players from this league are eligible for "The Cuban National team".
Occidentales gets players from Isla de La Juventud Grapefruit Croppers, Pinar del Rio Cigar Makers and Matanza Cocodriles.
Havana gets players from Industriales Lions, Havana Cowboys and Metropolitanos Warriors.
Centrales gets players from Cienfuegos Shrimps, Villa Clara Orange Growers, Camaguey Ceramists, Santi Spiritus Roosters and Ciego de Avila Tigers.
Orientales gets their players from Las Tunas Magicians, Gramma Sorrels, Santiago de Cuba Wasps, Holguin Hounds and Guantanamo Indians.
All teams are represented in the junior categories with one team. Every category has a national tournament. The following are the different categories in Cuban baseball:
Category 9-10 years old
Every province in Cuba has their own championship tournament before the start of The National League.
Runs after the Provincial leagues and before the National League. It is where young prospects polish their skills. Cuba has 14 provinces and one municipality. Havana, the capital, has two teams. Therefore, there are 16 teams. Players from this league don't have too much of a chance to make the roster from their respective province. This league ends at the beginning on November.
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