Tonight I depart for Havana, Cuba for the first time in over 15 years. My first visit was in 1993, where I had the opportunity to play some informal games of baseball with and against a variety of Cuban players. (I learned what real “heat” was when I faced a former Cuban National Team pitcher in Pinar del Rio). In 1999 I returned “under the radar”. The chance to see the first official game between involving a major league baseball team on Cuban soil since 1961 was too much to resist. I arrived in Havana without official status, a ticket to the game, or much else, but managed to have an excellent time anyway. I’ll never forget the sound of the Star Spangled Banner coming from a scratchy record and wafting through Estadio Latinaericano. (My adventures on these trips were chronicled in earlier blogs, which we will re-post here soon.) In the time since my last visit, Fidel has stepped aside, small-scale entrepreneurship has been legalized, and most dramatically, the U.S. and Cuban governments have begun the long and painful process of establishing “normal” relations. Ironically, this trip was scheduled under the old rules, which involve much red tape and expense (it remains technically illegal for U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba as mere tourist). I hope to update this blog regularly during my time in Havana, but with Cuban internet access unreliable and expensive, I cannot yet say how frequently I will be able to post. Stay tuned to this space!