Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. announced today that Derek Jeter and Cuban-born baseball dignitaries Luis Tiant and Jose Cardenal will be special guests of Major League Baseball during the Tampa Bay Rays' historic trip to Havana, where the Club will play an exhibition game against the Cuban National Team at Estadio Latinoamericano on Tuesday, March 22nd.
The former players will join Hall of Famer Joe Torre, MLB's Chief Baseball Officer, who will return to Cuba following his participation in December's MLB-MLB Players Association goodwill tour of the island. The special guests will attend various festivities, including children's clinics, during their stay in Cuba.
Jeter was a 14-time All-Star and a five-time World Series Champion during his 20-year Major League career with the New York Yankees. The shortstop was the captain of the team from 2003 until his retirement following the 2014 season. "Mr. November" remains MLB's all-time leader in Postseason hits, runs scored and total bases.
Tiant was a three-time All-Star and a four-time 20-game winner during his 19-year Major League career, most notably with the Boston Red Sox (1971-78) and the Cleveland Indians (1964-69). "El Tiante" twice led the American League in earned run average (1.60 in 1968, 1.91 in 1972) and was an anchor of Boston's pennant-winning 1975 team, for which he posted a 2-0 mark in his three starts in the memorable World Series. Cardenal was an 18-year Major League outfielder, primarily with the Chicago Cubs (1972-77) and the California Angels (1965-67). In a five-year span (1972-76) with the Cubs, Cardenal batted between .291 and .317 each season. He collected 138 home runs, 775 RBI and 329 stolen bases in 2,017 career Major League games. Cardenal was Torre's teammate with the St. Louis Cardinals, his player with the New York Mets and his first base coach with the Yankees for their World Championship teams of 1996 and 1998-99.
The Rays' trip will mark the first visit to Cuba by an MLB franchise since the Baltimore Orioles played an exhibition game against the Cuban National Team on March 28, 1999. ESPN and ESPN Deportes will provide live, national coverage of the game, which will have a telecast time of 1:30 p.m. (ET). In addition, ESPN's SportsCenter will have an on-site presence in Havana on March 21st-22nd. The game will also be streamed via WatchESPN.