Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) will embark on an historic goodwill tour in Cuba from December 15th-18th, it was jointly announced today. Hall of Famers Joe Torre, MLB's Chief Baseball Officer, and Dave Winfield, the MLBPA's Special Advisor to the Executive Director, will be joined by a group of current Major League players, who will be announced at a later date.
The tour will mark MLB's first visit to the island since the Baltimore Orioles played an exhibition game against the Cuban National Team in March 1999. The joint effort will consist of an opening press conference at Hotel Nacional, featuring Torre, Winfield and the participating players; children's clinics at Estadio Latinoamericano in Havana and Estadio Victoria de Giron in Matanzas; and a charity event in conjunction with Caritas Cubana.
"Major League Baseball is very fortunate to have an opportunity to play a constructive role in the improvement of our country's relations with Cuba, and it is particularly pleasing that our sport has a significant number of highly-decorated ambassadors who can make an impression both on and off the field," said Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. "Baseball represents a pivotal common bond in our cultures, and the impact that Cuban ballplayers have made on our game is undeniable. I am hopeful that this tour will represent the beginning of a longstanding relationship."
"The Major League Baseball Players Association is proud to be joining Major League Baseball on this history-making visit to Cuba," said MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark. "The Players will be thrilled to visit a country that shares our passion and enthusiasm for the sport of baseball, and we all hope that this visit marks the beginning of a relationship that will only grow stronger - on and off the baseball field."