N OT E S
In this single instance, I am limiting the definition of Cuban athlete to
athletes representing the nation-state and not the broader ethnic identification.
Tany Pérez and Tony Oliva were but two Cubans who elected to stay in the
United States at the coming of the Revolution. Since those initial days, there
certainly have been other Cuban Americans, such as Luis Tiant Jr. in the 1970s
and José Canseco in the late 1980s among others. But these men learned to play
the game elsewhere, a minor yet sometimes important distinction among fans
on the island.
The very spaces in which sport takes place suggest this remote, separate
nature of sporting experience. A stadium’s strong walls with inward sloping
stands focus energies down and in, toward the center, while keeping the out-
side world at bay. The very physicality of those barriers, keeping the curious and
unsanctioned out of its confines, suggests an insular place where the emotions
that confuse life’s issues can be resolved.
Never mind that much of early modern capitalism, as well as current
capitalist labor outside the postindustrial countries of western Europe and
North America, did and does comprise children. See E. P. Thompson’s The
Making of the English Working Class (1966) and Louise Lamphere’s From Working
Daughters to Working Mothers (1987) for two particularly apt historical perspec-
tives among many examples.
I use fiction here intentionally, not to indicate something false or untrue,
but to indicate something made up or constructed.
The perfect case in point is the excellent ethnographic film Trobriand Cricket,
in which the restrictions on the number of players allowed on the pitch and the
reasons for playing have been altered from British ‘‘civilized’’ meanings to
Trobrianders’ own cultural logic (Leach 1976).
Partha Chatterjee argues this same point, suggesting that Indian national-
ism is, in e√ect, a derivative discourse of European ideals rather than reflecting
actual Indian ideas. That such discourses had to be formulated along the
discursive logic of European ideas reflect the historical and continuing power
relations between the subcontinent and western Europe (Chatterjee 1986).