Cuba and the United States are starting today in several North Carolina locations the sixth baseball cap, considered a national sport and cultural heritage in both countries.
The baseball series between the Cuban national team and the national university of the United States, two of the world powers in this sport discipline, began in 1987 annually but in 1996, Washington unilaterally canceled this caps.
After 16 years of suspension, these caps restarted in 2012, and since then the United States has led the last 25 clashes with 13 victories against 12 of the Cubans.
Cuba hosted the tournament in 2012, 2014 and 2016, while the United States organized the fair in 2013 and 2015.
In 2012, Cuba won 3-2. A year later, the North American championed at home by sweep of 5-0. The Cubans returned the coin on their property in 2014. In 2015, US prevailed by 3-2, and repeated the same score as visitor in 2016.
This time, the competition is co-hosted by the American Knights of Charlotte and Durham Bulls clubs.
The island's baseball authorities called a selection of 27 players under the aegis of director Roger Machado, manager of the Tigers team of Ciego de Ávila, three-time Cuban champion in this century.
Machado, who has two other positions as a manager in these caps against US teams, valued that the Cuban squad mixes experience and youth as a way to develop the whole, and also in order to succeed and stimulate younger players and athletes with High yields in this popular sport.
It is a squad presenting young figures, some coming from the category under 23 years and others of good performance in the National Series.
The group consists of three receivers, seven boxers, four outfielders and 13 pitchers, with an average age of 26.6 years. Among Cuban players, there are eight participants in the last IV World Baseball Classic, while 10 of them were in the bilateral top of last year.
The Caribbean team comes from playing 21 games against six-selected Canadian-American Independent League (Can-Am), from June 9 to 29, in their second consecutive experience in this circuit, which ended with a negative balance of five victories and 16 failures.
In 30 years, since the first baseball cap between Cuba and the United States, the Cubans won 42 games, with seven shutouts provided by their pitchers, while the Americans 34 wins, with six.
From 1987 to 1996, with game dates in July and August, Cuba compiles 30-21, with five nine zeros tipped by their pitching staff, while the US Exhibits 21-30, with two games without allowing annotations by their pitchers.
In the last 25 meetings, since 2012, the Cubans have shown 12 successes, with two games without tolerating races, while the Americans reached 13 smiles and added four slugs.