A U.S. All-Star baseball team will play a Cuban team after the World Series or next spring as a result of negotiations by Sen. George McGovern (D-S.D.) with Cuban premier Fidel Castro and baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn.
McGovern, who met with Castro in Havana last weekend, told a press conference yesterday that the premier said he would now welcome an All-Star team.
Castro had previously insisted on the New York Yankees. Kuhn would not give permission for a Yankee-only matchup and Castro withdrew the invitation. McGovern persuaded Castro to accept an All-Star team and Kuhn agreed to the proposal. It is not know if the Cuban team would also be composed of All-Stars.
As another part of "sports diplomacy" between the two countries, Castro agreed a Cuban basketball team would come to the U.S. in November for a number of games, McGovern said.
The University of South Dakota and South Dakota State, who fielded a squad against the Cubans last week, have invited the Cubans to play. McGovern said the Cubans might want to play other schools, the University of Minnesota, Marquette or some teams in the warmer Southwest.
Bill Wall, president of the Amateur Basketball Association-USA, which has the franchise for international basketball competition in this country, said two invitations have been extended to the Cubans.
Wall, with McGovern in Cuba, said the Cuban men's team has been invited to play eight to 10 games in the U.S. THe Cubans also have been invited to participate in the Pan-American Confederation junior girls tournament in Squaw Valley, Calif., in July. Wall said he is awaiting word on the latter tournament.