Jorge Arangure Jr.’s excellent Cuba Diaries series continues over at Vice Sports. In this installment he gives us a taste of what goes on at the ballpark before a big game in Cuba. And meets the most interesting batboy. His name is Fidel Ramirez Coll, he’s 56-years-old and he’s been doing this job since the late 70s:
In 1979, his playing career ended unceremoniously at age 18. He had no future prospects as a player. But he didn’t want to leave the game altogether, something he told friends and family in the area. Soon after his last game, the administrators of his local municipal team—baseball in Cuba is a regional sport where one plays for their respective town, then their county, and then finally, if talented enough, for the state (provincial) team in the Serie Nacional—asked if he would be interested in becoming the squad’s batboy.
After one year at the local level he was immediately called up to be the batboy for the Industriales, which is the premiere team in the premiere league in all of Cuba.
Fascinating story. Fascinating series.