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The Nation in the Strike Zone and Reality at Bat: Bodies, Voices, and Spaces of Cuban Baseball in Sport Documentaries

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Sports and Nationalism in Latin/o America

Part of the book series: New Directions in Latino American Cultures ((NDLAC))

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Abstract

In 2005, a group of young Cuban filmmakers arrived at the National Exhibit of New Filmmakers dressed as baseball players to protest the exclusion of a documentary entitled Fuera de liga, a film directed by Cuban filmmaker Ian Padrón about Havana’s Industriales, Cuba’s most emblematic revolutionary baseball team (Arreola). Apparently, the film had been excluded from the National Exhibit because it included interviews with Cuban players who had abandoned the island to play Major League Baseball in the United States (Padrón). Completed in 2003, Fuera de liga circulated clandestinely in portable digital drives for five years, but it was not publicly released until 2008, when it was transmitted only in Havana by a provincial television station (Vicent). Until its release, the topic of Cuban baseball defections was taboo in Cuban media. By the time of its premiere, one of the protagonists of the film, Industriales’s first baseman Kendry Morales, rookie of the year in the 2002–2003 National Series, had abandoned Cuba to pursue his dream of playing Major League Baseball.

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Authors

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Héctor Fernández L’Hoeste Robert McKee Irwin Juan Poblete

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© 2015 Héctor Fernández L’Hoeste, Robert McKee Irwin, and Juan Poblete

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Rodríguez, J.C. (2015). The Nation in the Strike Zone and Reality at Bat: Bodies, Voices, and Spaces of Cuban Baseball in Sport Documentaries. In: L’Hoeste, H.F., Irwin, R.M., Poblete, J. (eds) Sports and Nationalism in Latin/o America. New Directions in Latino American Cultures. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137518002_8

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