#Shortstops: Spring Training in Cuba
The games pitted the women of the AAGPBL against their counterparts in the Latin American Feminine Basebol League (LAFBBL). They were so popular that they drew crowds larger than those at the Dodgers' games.
The Cubans loved baseball, but they had never seen women play ball at the level of the All-American Girls League. More than 55,000 Cuban baseball enthusiasts showed up to watch the women. While in Havana, the Dodgers played "home" series against the Yankees and Boston Braves, along with games against the Royals and a team of Cuban all-stars. In addition to the trip to Panama, they took quick jaunts to play in Caracas, Venezuela, and the Panama Canal Zone.
The Havana experiment only lasted one spring for the Dodgers, as the club’s training costs were the highest in the majors that year. Unlike the AAGPBL games, which drew large crowds, attendance for the Dodgers' series against the Braves was so low that the visiting Boston club lost money on the deal. It was so successful for the AAGPBL, however, that some of the All-Americans returned in the fall of 1947 for a postseason exhibition tour.
Meaghann Campbell is the 2018 library-technical services intern in the Hall of Fame’s Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development