Home Institution

University of Texas at Dallas

Publication Date

Fall 2012

Program Name

Nicaragua: Revolution, Transformation, and Civil Society

Abstract

In Nicaragua, baseball is known as the king sport and the Nicaraguan people have a passion for the sport like none other. Entering the two sides of present-day Nicaragua at almost the same time, baseball rapidly secured its spot as the national sport of Nicaragua during the occupation of the U.S. Marines in the early part of the 20th century. Baseball became politicized with the rise to power of Anastasio Somoza García, and from then on, it would be an integral part in winning the affections of the Nicaraguan people. Founding two teams, plotting assassinations at games, and using baseball to distract the Nicaraguan people, Somoza García was the master of manipulating the sport. But it didn’t stop with Somoza. During the period of the revolutionary government, Sandinista leaders promoted their own version of baseball with an emphasis on the massification of the sport. In the transition to neoliberalism, baseball was privatized along with the other major industries of Nicaragua. Today, Ortega has left his own mark on baseball promoting community and professional leagues. While the future of baseball in Nicaragua is unknown, one thing is for sure: baseball in Nicaragua will always be political.

Disciplines

Inequality and Stratification | Leisure Studies | Political Science | Politics and Social Change | Sports Studies

 

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