Tuesday, January 4, 2011

'Greener Grass' documentary details Cuban baseball history

A terrific PBS documentary, Greener Grass: Cuba, Baseball and the United State, that's available on YouTube.

Much of it deals with the Baltimore Orioles' 1999 exhibition game against the Cuban National Team in Havana, the first time a major league team had played in Cuba in more than 40 years.

But it also highlights Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez's defection from Cuba and the history of baseball in Cuba.

And it's dotted with archival footage, including newsreel footage from a Dodgers-Reds exhibition game in Havana in 1959 -- mere weeks after Fidel Castro came to power -- which was the last time major league teams had played in Cuba before the Orioles' visit.

Beginning at the 7:55 mark, you can see Dodgers shortstop Pee Wee Reese and later the Reds' Frank Robinson warming up at first base.

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