Park University, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Co-Hosting Talk on Cuban Baseball History

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

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Dr. Roberto EchevarriaPark University and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum have teamed up to present a talk by Roberto González Echevarría, Ph.D., for a conversation on the history of Cuban baseball on Saturday, April 2, at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, 1616 E. 18th Street in Kansas City, Mo. The discussion begins at 1:30 p.m.

The event, which will provide a historical perspective on baseball in Cuba, is being held as the Kansas City Royals begin the quest to defend its 2015 World Series title as part of Major League Baseball’s Opening Weekend at Kauffman Stadium, and as the United States government works to update diplomatic relations with Cuba.

Echevarría is the Sterling Professor of Hispanic and Comparative Literatures at Yale University, and author of The Pride of Havana: A History of Cuban Baseball (Oxford University Press). The book received the first Dave Moore Award from Elysian Fields Quarterly: The Baseball Review as the “most important baseball book” of 1999. From the first amateur leagues of the 1860s to the exploits of Livan and Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez, the book is a definitive history of baseball in Cuba. Echevarría expertly traces the arc of the game, intertwining its heroes and their stories with the politics, music, dance and literature of the Cuban people. What emerges is more than a story of balls and strikes, but a richly detailed history of Cuba told from the unique cultural perch of the baseball diamond.

Brian Shawver, associate dean in the School of Arts and Humanities, chair of the Department of English and Modern Languages, and associate professor of English at Park University, will serve as moderator. Shawver authored The Cuban Prospect (The Overlook Press), his 2004 debut novel. The book is about a major league player turned minor league scout — whose field of dreams has always been baseball — who accepts the challenge of smuggling a hot right-handed pitcher out of Cuba in the hope that promoting the greatness of another will somehow confer a small, manageable portion of it on himself.

Admission to the talk is included with paid admission to the Museum. Regular admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors age 65 and older, and $6 for children age 12 and younger; NLBM members are admitted free with their membership card.

For questions about the event, contact NLBM Vice President and Curator Ray Doswell, Ed.D., at or (816) 221-1920.