How baseball came to Cuba
According to the writer and translator Dick Cluster, baseball was a form of protest against Spanish colonialism:
The sport came to Cuba primarily via middle- and upper-class Cubans returning from study at Fordham and other Catholic colleges in the United States. Its rapid spread throughout the island was due in part to the fact that the new sport arrived just as long-simmering sentiments against both Spanish colonialism and slavery were erupting into open rebellion, sparking the Ten Years’ War (1868–‘78) that pitted an uneasy coalition of Cuban planters, other white Cubans of all classes, free people of color, and escaped slaves against the Spanish imperial army. Both then and in the decades to follow, Cubans latched onto baseball as a modern, democratic, healthy, sportsmanlike, and distinctly non-Spanish entertainment, one that baseball’s boosters explicitly contrasted to the bullfight that they condemned as old-world, old-fashioned, bloodthirsty, hierarchical, and unfair.