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Cubacan 6060
Retired car salesman turning out baseball bats for Cuba Print E-mail
Article by Andrew Duffy, first published in The Ottawa Citizen

A retired Ottawa Valley car salesman is turning out hundreds of hand-made maple bats every year for Cuban baseball players as part of a decade-long effort to assist the impoverished island nation.

Bill Ryan, 66, spends 10 or 11 hours every day in his basement woodworking shop, making his now famous “Cubacan” bats.

This year, he wants to send 600 bats — they each cost about $50 — to Cuba, which is about to start its national baseball series. Professional quality bats are difficult to find and prohibitively expensive in Cuba, which remains the subject of a strict U.S. trade embargo.
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Cubacan 6060 Project Print E-mail


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To say the pandemic has had a huge impact on everyone is a gross understatement and this is true especially for Cuba with the cessation of its critical tourism economy. When you add the strengthening of the illegal, 60-year blockade of Cuba by Trump, we have a very “imperfect” storm.

Cuba will need at least 600 baseball bats for the next National Series, which begins on September 12th, but because of the blockade and the Covid pandemic, are unable to afford them. They have asked Canadian friends to assist in their acquisition. Bill Ryan, a long time Canadian supporter of Cuban baseball has taken on the task of helping Cuba in this by making these bats with his simple lathe. Bill has made bats for Cuba in past and the Cubans believe that these bats are as good as any they’ve purchase elsewhere and at a fraction of what would otherwise cost over $75,000.

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