Cuban National Team plays baseball in Ottawa

Cuban National Team versus Ottawa ChampionsTook in a baseball game on the hottest day of the year in Ottawa: the Cuban National Team played the local team from the Can-Am League, the Ottawa Champions. The Cuban National Team was a solid side, but the Ottawa Champions had better hitting against their starting pitcher, and won the game 6 to 3. There were almost 6,000 fans in the 10,000 seat park, and the game had all the fun rituals of baseball: the 7th inning stretch, silly contests between innings, singing “Sweet Caroline.” Added to this there was a good contingent of Cuban fans down the 1st base line, playing music and dancing the whole game long. There will be more international baseball here soon, when the Ottawa Champions play the Shikoku Island All-Stars from Japan.

The Ottawa Stadium is a good one, and was built for a Triple-A team called the Ottawa Lynx. That team faded along with their major league affiliate, the Montreal Expos. A couple of minor league teams succeeded the Lynx, notably the Fat Cats, before the Champions came to town. Ottawa is enjoying a professional sports renaissance, with fun-to-watch teams in baseball (the Champions), in soccer (the Fury), in Canadian football (the RedBlacks) and in hockey (the Senators).