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Though Venezuela is sandwiched between two soccer-mad countries Brazil and Colombia baseball is its national pastime and passion. Yet until the late 1980s few professional teams actively scouted and developed players there. This book is about the man who changed all that and brought Venezuela into Major League Baseball in a major way. While other teams were looking to the Dominican Republic for new talent, Houston Astros' scout Andrés Reiner saw an untapped niche in Venezuela. Venezuelan Bust, Baseball Boom recounts how, over the next fifteen years, Reiner signed nearly one hundred players, nineteen of whom reached the majors. The stories of these players among them Bobby Abreu, Johán Santana, Melvin Mora, Carlos Guillén, and Freddy García are interwoven with Reiner s own, together creating a fascinating portrait of a curious character in the annals of sports and a richly textured picture of the opening of Venezuela as baseball s new frontier. Countless interviews broaden and deepen the story s insights into how the scouting system works, how Reiner worked within it, and how his efforts have affected the sport of baseball in Venezuela and the significance of Venezuela in the world of Major League Baseball.
There's never been a better time to be an Astros fan, and this lively, detailed book explores the personalities, events, and facts every fan should know. Whether you're a die-hard booster from the days of the Colt .45's or a new supporter of Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa, these are the 100 things all fans need to know and do in their lifetime. It contains every essential piece of Astros knowledge and trivia, as well as must-do activities, and ranks them all from 1 to 100, providing an entertaining and easy-to-follow checklist as you progress on your way to fan superstardom. This World Series edition has been updated to include the team's 2017 championship season as well as a new generation of stars, including Altuve, Correa, George Springer, Dallas Keuchel, Justin Verlander, and more.
This book examines what it takes for Latino youngsters to beat the odds, overcoming cultural and racial barriers—and a corrupt recruitment system—to play professional baseball in the United States. • Provides a historical overview of the increasing numbers of Latin Americans in Major League Baseball and its minor league system • Details the corrupt recruitment system in several Latin American countries that, in most cases, leads aspiring youngsters on a fruitless quest for a professional baseball contract • Highlights the careers of players, especially Roberto Clemente, who became role models for young Latin American players • Offers a brief history of the origin of baseball in Latin American countries, drawing on unique documentary material from the National Archives • Uses recent, first-person interviews to share examples of how some individuals and institutions are attempting to reform the system
A look at the integral relationship between baseball and the Latin American world describes how thousands of Latinos have attempted to make their childhood dreams of success as big-league baseball players into reality.
Hubaldo's life as a fifth grader in a barrio in Venezuela centers around his love for the country's most popular sport, its teams, and its players.
In his comprehensive and vibrant picture of baseball in Cuba, Milton H. Jamail explores the sport’s relationship to U.S. baseball. Jamail, whose personal love of the game matches that of the Cubans, examines the roots and traditions of baseball on the island and explains why Cubans play such excellent baseball. His analysis of the development of Cuban baseball after the 1959 takeover by Fidel Castro includes a detailed description of the formation of the Cuban amateur baseball system that has dominated international competitions for more than three decades. Before 1961, when the U.S. government severed diplomatic relations with Cuba and Castro abolished professional baseball, Cuba provided the bulk of the foreign players in the major leagues (more than one hundred since the color barrier was lifted in 1947). Major league interest in Cuban baseball remains high, Jamail notes, as he examines the changes necessary, both in the United States and Cuba, to return Cuban ballplayers to professional baseball in the United States. He discusses Cuban defectors, including Liván Hernández, and describes the intrigue surrounding agent Joe Cubas’s courting of Cuban players and his attempts to spirit them away when the Cuban national team plays outside the country. An academic trained in Latin American politics, Jamail has spent twelve years as a Spanish-speaking journalist writing about Latinos and baseball. To write this book, he conducted extensive interviews with baseball officials, journalists, players, and fans in Cuba, as well as Cuban players who have defected. He also talked to scouts and front office people from U.S. baseball organizations.

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