Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association jointly announced on Thursday they will embark on a goodwill tour in Cuba from Dec. 15-18.
MLB’s chief baseball officer Joe Torre and MLBPA special advisor to the executive director Dave Winfield were named as participants of the tour, with a full list Major League players to be announced at a later date.
The tour will be MLB’s first visit to Cuba since the Baltimore Orioles faced the Cuban National Team in exhibition game in March 1999.
News of the tour comes on the heels of MLB commissioner Rob Manfred recently sharing his hope of Cuba hosting Spring Training games next year.
While the complete list of MLB players participating on the tour hasn’t yet been announced, Los Angeles Dodgers teammates Clayton Kershaw and Yasiel Puig are expected to make the trip, according to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports:
Clayton Kershaw and Yasiel Puig are among players expected to travel to Cuba for MLB/PA goodwill tour later this month.
— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) December 3, 2015
Puig’s inclusion is a natural one given he of course is a native of the island. To the best of public knowledge, the December visit will be Puig’s first since he defected in hope of reaching the Majors.
Through his charity, Kershaw’s Challenge, and with the Los Angeles Dream Center, Kershaw has long been involved with improving the lives of others. His charity recently hosted their second annual benefit concert.
Kershaw was recognized by MLB for his charitable efforts in 2012, as he was named the Roberto Clemente Award winner. Then in 2013, the Dodgers presented Kershaw with the Branch Rickey Award.