How I Ruined Cuba This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
   In a past life, I was involved in the most important baseball game of all time. It was not important in determining the national championship, and didn't make any difference in the final standings. It was not important for any of these trivial reasons, but for a much more important reason considering the history of the world as we know it.

The year was 1955, and I was pitching in a spring training game for the then New York Giants in a late pre-season game against the then Brooklyn Dodgers. The first few innings went along rather smoothly, and the game was deadlocked at one run a piece, going into the fourth inning. I easily retired the first two batters, and the light-hitting second baseman was due to bat next, but he pinch hitted for him. The batter in his place was a Cuban who had spent the last few years in the minor leagues, and was struggling to make the major league team. I felt for him, and might have gone easy on him, but my roster spot was not exactly carved in stone. His first time up, I struck him out to retire the side in order.

In the next inning, the Cuban took the field at second base, and I was the third hitter due. I expected to be pinch hit for, but I wasn't. I was not a good hitter, and just tried to lay down a bunt. I succeeded and hit it to the Cuban. Although I was only an average runner, he rushed his throw and threw the ball over the head of the first baseman. I took second on the error, and later scored on a double by my illustrious teammate, Willie Mays. This turned out to be the winning run in a 2-1 game.

I breezed through the rest of the game, striking out the Cuban two more times, and had a total of nine strike-outs for the game. It appeared as if I had won a spot on the Giants roster, but the young Cuban, who made two more errors, would not make that Dodgers team.

I later learned he went back to Cuba and enlisted in the military as a result of this. If he had made the team, he would have moved to Brooklyn and settled permanently in the United States. The name of the young Cuban second baseman was Fidel Castro. n



(Although I have no recollection of pitching for the New York Giants in a past life, Fidel Castro was once a farmhand in the Dodgers organization, and the course of history would have been changed greatly if he had made the team.)


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback