Trojans Open 2004 Season With Historic Trip To Cuba

Sept. 5, 2003

LOS ANGELES -- The USC baseball team has been selected by the Cuban Baseball Federation to play in Cuba this January for the first time ever. The team will travel with other USC students and faculty as part of an educational exchange.

The five-day trip from Jan. 23-28 will feature three games against Cuba's No. 1 national all-star team. It will be the first time the Cuban National Team has faced a U.S. collegiate team. Previously, the Cuban National Team has played against the U.S. Olympic Team and the Baltimore Orioles. Former Trojan head coach Rod Dedeaux will also be part of the entourage.

USC has filed for a license to travel to Cuba with the U.S. Treasury Dept. Office of Foreign Assets Control in Washington, D.C.

'We feel very fortunate to have this opportunity,' said USC head coach Mike Gillespie. 'We will be able to play against an outstanding Cuban team and the uniqueness to experience their culture is greatly appreciated.'

Trojan fans and alumni will also have the chance to travel with the team. Packages and information about tickets can be found at

'This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the USC baseball program,' said USC senior associate athletic director Don Winston. 'This will be a wonderful educational experience for our players and I would hope that our alumni and friends will be able to join us on the trip.' All three games will be played with wood bats and utilize international rules.

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