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Baseball in Cuba began when Cubans going to school abroad in the United States brought back stories, enthusiasm, and equipment from their campus towns. This sparked a large interest in the sport that engaged a country of followers. It is said that during the baseball season, Cuba literally comes alive, and over the summer, "there is nothing to talk about". (45)

Throughout the history of baseball, there has been an ongoing conflict with Cuban talent. Cuban baseball players and coaches who defect, encounter complications if they attempt to return to Cuba. These players left as “political refugees” seeking asylum in the United States. There have been controversies surround this theme, namely exemplified by a baseball game between Cuba and the Baltimore Orioles, and a lawsuit involving an agent smuggling players into the United States illegally.

In 1999, there was a baseball game played between the Cuban national baseball team and the Baltimore Orioles, and after the game, several players and Rigoberto Herrera, the Cuban coach, opted to remain in the United States and asked for political asylum (8). Another case of a Cuban player seeking political asylum away from Cuba is Alexei Ramirez. This talented pitcher defected from Cuba in 2006 in order to obtain a visa to play in the United States. He resided in the Dominican Republic until he could obtain the visa. The Dominican Republic was clearly a temporary stop, as his successful career in the national baseball league demonstrated his talent among the players in the country (9).

Earlier in 2007, Gus Dominguez, an agent that has represented many prominent players in the MLB, was convicted of 21 counts of alien smuggling and other immigration violations. He now faces decades in prison (10). There was a complication surrounding this case that dealt with the “wet foot dry foot” rule. The smuggled players announced their presence in the United States weeks after their arrival, and so their citizenship was granted. Yet Dominguez still faces charges because he was involved in illegal smuggling. A similar situation occurs in Amsterdam where the possession of a specified amount of drugs is legal, but the acquiring of the drugs is illegal.