Here’s a link to both the auido and a somewhat truncated text of an NPR story I heard yesterday concerning a new documentary about Luis Tiant called “The Lost Son of Havana.” The film tells the story of Tiant’s return to Cuba after 46 years, and it sounds pretty amazing:
Tiant had been pitching for the Mexican baseball league during the Bay of Pigs invasion. He had recently married and was planning to go back to Cuba for his honeymoon.
But his father sent him a letter saying “don’t come home,” explaining that there was no longer professional baseball in Cuba and that the new communist government under Fidel Castro wasn’t letting anyone leave the island, Hock says.
Tiant’s father told him to “give it a little time, it’ll blow over and come home for your honeymoon then,” Hock says.
As the title implies, he didn’t make it back until 2008. I highly recommend the audio if you’re somewhere you can listen to it, because it goes into some backstory on Tiant’s father, who was a legend in the Negro Leagues.