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Dan Moffett

Cuban Defectors Playing a Big Role In Baseball All-Star Game Week

By July 16, 2013

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Cuban defectors have already had a huge impact on the Major League Baseball All-Star Game events in New York.

On Monday, the Oakland Athletics' Yoenis Cespedes dazzled the crowd at Citi Field by winning the Home Run Derby contest, hitting 32 blasts to defeat Washington's Bryce Harper in the final round.

Tonight, the Miami Marlins' 20-year-old pitcher Jose Fernandez takes the field for the National League team as one of the youngest All-Stars ever.

Cespedes and Fernandez were stars in the Cuban national baseball program before defecting and coming to the United States. Cespedes escaped to the Dominican Republic in 2011, and Fernandez made a harrowing boat ride to Mexico in 2008, after three failed attempts that landed him in prison.
Since Fidel Castro took power a half-century ago, dozens of

Cuban baseball players have made it to the Major Leagues, often risking their lives to make the journey. Check out the long list of Cuban defectors who made it to The Show.

Once they make it to the United States, U.S. immigration officials allow them special treatment under the so-called "Wet Foot, Dry Foot" policy.

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