This Day in Baseball History: April 25th, 2000

It was later revealed that he was coached to say this.

On April 25, 2000:

Several ball players go on a one-day strike.

Usually, strikes in baseball surround player salaries, conditions, and bonuses, but this one was a little different. Five months earlier, a little boy arrived on the shore of the United States and preoccupied the country for the next year. That boy was Elian Gonzalez. He, his mother, and 10 others left Cuba in an aluminum boat, headed for Miami, but along the way, the motor broke and left the boat helpless. As the occupants attempted to rid the boat of water, Elian was placed in an inner tube for his safety. After watching for a while, the young boy went out (maybe passed out) from exhaustion. When he woke up, he would never see any of those people ever again.

Elian somehow arrived in Miami, and they gave him to his uncle. However, his father back in Cuba wanted him back and said he was not aware that his family was planning to leave. After that, the entire world became involved. What was the United States going to do? On one hand, there’s a semi-policy that the United States will harbor any Cuban who makes it to shore, but on the other hand, this isn’t really kosher according to international law. Most seemed to think the boy should be returned to his father, but the Cuban-American community and Miami didn’t think so and refused to help the federal authorities. In response, several Major League Baseball players went on strike in support of the boy staying in the US.

Alex Fernandez was born in Miami, Florida but was of Cuban-American descent. Vladimir Nuñez was born in Havana, Cuba. Jose Canseco was born in Havan, Cuba as well, and he and his family left when he was an infant. Michael Tejera was also from Havana. Mike Lowell is actually from San Juan, Puerto Rico, but his father was a Cuban exile living in Puerto Rico. Rey Ordoñez, also from Havana, became the second player to defect from Cuba in 1993 after being a successful palyer for the Industriales. Cookie Rojas was the only coach of the group, but he was also from Havana. All of them sat out of the game that night, and none were punished. Fernandez, Nuñez, Tejera, and Lowell were Florida Marlins and obviosuly close to the situation. Ordoñez and Rojas were with the Mets. Canseco was with the Devil Rays.

As we know, Elian eventually went back to Cuba.

Trivia Time
Who was the first player to defect from Cuba and what position did he play?

Answer from April 20 –> Gee Walker in 1937

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2 Responses to “This Day in Baseball History: April 25th, 2000”

  1. Ron Rollins Says:

    Armando Marsans, 2B.

  2. Ron Rollins Says:

    Armando Marsans, 2B.

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