Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Estadio Latinoamericano

Latinoamericano, the most famous park in Cuban Baseball, was inaugurated October 26, 1946 with the first game of the Cuban professional season between Almendares and Cienfuegos, two of the most popular clubs at this time. The stadium was first given the name “Gran Stadium de la Habana”.

Located just a few kilometers from the main part of the capital at la calle 23 o Rampa, the stadium was known by the city inhabitants as the Giant at Cerro (a neighborhood in Havana).

Latinoamericano assumed its actual name in 1961, the same year in which the Amateur Baseball Championship began.

The stadium was first built with a capacity of 30,500 spectators. Since its recent renovations, capacity has been increased to 55,000.

The field of play, which measures 325’ from home plate to right and left field and 400’ to center field, has been the site of World Baseball Championships in 1952, 1971, 1973 and 1984, and the Intercontinental Cups in 1979, 1985,1995 and 2002, as well as the Pan American Games in 1991, the Central American Games in 1982 and the Caribbean Series in 1949, 1953 and 1957.

One of the greatest occurrences ever to take place at Latinoamericano Stadium was a game featuring the Baltimore Orioles from the Major League Baseball USA. Prior to this, professionals from Mexico, Japan and Venezuela, among others, took part in various games at the stadium.

The Baseball sanctuary of the island is the home to the Industriales, champions of the most recent Baseball Championship, who share the stadium with the Metropolitanos, also a veteran team that plays in the capital city.

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