Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Robert K. Barney


In the 1950s, the Caribbean island of Cuba underwent a series of emphatic and revolutionary changes, culminating in Fidel Castro's regime coming to power in early 1959. A year later, relations between the Cuban government and their American counterpart had deteriorated rapidly to the point of rhetoric, economic sanctions, and covert military actions. Yet, both nations laid claim to the same national pastime: the sport of baseball. Since the 1860s, America's game of choice had been played passionately by Cubans, helping facilitate their social assimilation into the U.S. economic sphere. There was arguably a cultural sporting bridge between the two nations, and during the Cuban Revolution this relationship was arguably at its most important stage. In fact, the Havana Sugar Kings played in the highest tier of minor league baseball, the International League, from 1954 to 1960. By examining local newspapers from Rochester, New York, another IL city, this study portrays how this shared pastime impacted American front section media coverage about their southern island neighbor during the Cuban Revolution.