Beyond the Column

Larry's LaRue-minations

UP Man plays ball for fun – and a sister city

Post by Larry Larue / The News Tribune on March 18, 2013 at 8:02 am with No Comments »
March 18, 2013 8:13 am

 At 64, Michael Kagan still has the wheels to play cnter field – and the heart to make his love of baseball help others.

Michael Kagan - with cigar - and Cuban friends.
Michael Kagan – with cigar – and Cuban friends.

The topic of today’s column, Kagan for the past three years has made an annual trip to Cuba as part of a volunteer All-Star team of seniors from around the country.

It costs him $3,000, and since it was all arranged initially by a California players, it’s just coincidence that some of the games each year are played in Cienfuegos, which happens to be one of Tacoma’s sister cities.

“Everyone in Cuba asks for a baseball for their son. And everyone has a son – even 90-year-old men,” he said. “I let them begin the conversations that go beyond baseball. You never know who’s listening, and I don’t want to get anyone in trouble. They love talking baseball. They’re blown away by our ability to travel, by our equipment.”

If you’d like to help purchase some of that equipment, Kagan asks that you send a ax-deductible contributiion to Tacoma-Cienfuegos Sister City Committee and mail it to PO Box 64421, Tacoma, WA 98464. Send $50 and you’ll get a CD of Cuba music in return.

 Kagan will make sure whatever supplies are purchased get there.

“On the flight from Florida, baggage cost is $1 a pound. There are people flying air conditioners to Cuba, taking washing machines,” he said.


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