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Fidel at Bat

The only picture hanging in my apartment is the above photo of Fidel Castro playing baseball. It’s a poster entitled, “Fidel at Bat: Images of the 20th Century.” I bought it because it was such a non sequitur. There was Fidel, playing baseball in a full stadium, with cameras all around him. There was no context for this photo. It was just there.

I wondered what was going through the pitcher’s mind. Was he told to give up a hit to El Presidente? Does he lob the ball up there so Fidel can get a hit? If he does, he can’t make it too obvious that it’s just a lob. What if Fidel just whiffs at it? What if, Fidel when he enters the box, says, “Give me your best pitch.” Do you show it?

Did Fidel play the whole game? Probably not. It was probably just a stunt, but in my imagination, he plays the whole game and goes 3 for 4 with a sacrifice bunt. (“We must all make sacrifices for the good of the whole,” Fidel is quoted as saying in the post-game interviews.)

Originally, I was just going to leave this post with that image, but as I searched around for a scan of the photo, I found several more photos of Fidel playing baseball, including wearing a baseball uniform, instead of his trademarked army uniform. Unfortunately my search added a bit of context to these photos, but it flesh out my alternate reality a bit. Castro was a star pitcher in college, noted for his curveball, so of course, he’s a pitching. He also, lead off. Lead off pitcher. That’s my Fidel.

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