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The Duke of Havana: Baseball, Cuba, and the Search for the American Dream

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  58 ratings  ·  3 reviews
In 1998, a mysterious right-handed pitcher emerged from the ashes of the Cold War and helped lead the New York Yankees to a World Championship. His origins and even his age were uncertain. His name was Orlando El Duque Hernandez. He was a fallen hero of Fidel Castro's socialist revolution.

The chronicle of El Duque's triumph is at once a window into the slow death of Cuban
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Hardcover, 368 pages
Published June 1st 2001 by Villard (first published January 1st 2001)
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secondwomn
Apr 06, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: library, school, 2008
the prose style is slightly too over-the-top for my taste. compiles many interviews and much information that probably no one else could have compiled and is really really informative. perhaps the best thing about this book for me was that it made me ask questions about how MLB handles players. if you pick this up expecting it to be about El Duque, then you're likely to be disappointed, as the first half of the book is more about his first agent, joe cubas, or about cuba in a general sense. the ...more
Jim
Mar 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
A fascinating look behind the "wall" that the US tries to keep up around Cuba. This isn't just a story about a selfish ballplayer chasing money in the Major Leagues. When a high profile ballplayer defects, there are consequences for him and his family that often gets left behind. There is also a certain romanticized view of Cuba, with there cigars and old cars, but while extreme poverty and starvation are no longer an issue, people there often don't have much. And they certainly are not free.
Ricardo Miro-Maldonado
This book should have a different title. Though the title suggests this is a story about Orlando Hernandez, it is mainly a history of Cuban baseball players attempting to flee Cuba or defy their government over the years. El Duque is my FAVORTIE pitcher of all time and this book did him a disservice by not focusing on on him and his career.
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