Cuban Serie Selectiva league cards have received international recognition in the media and assorted publications.
Released a few days after the Major League Baseball strike began in
August 1994, former Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos pitching ace Bill "Spacemen" Lee remarked
there were "No Millionaire Bozos in these Cards!"
Ken Burns, producer of BASEBALL, the critically acclaimed PBS Broadcast Series, observed: "Now we have cards that help tell all of the baseball story, not just the Madison Avenue version."
True, in 1994 we broke new ground for Cuban baseball. And today these cards are more
unique than ever!
Below are some excerpts from some media coverage.
New York Times -- August 22, 1994
Cuban Players Star in Card Series
by Robert McG. Thomas Jr.
In a commercial world where timing can be crucial, imagine publishing a new baseball card issue at the very moment the (major league) players strike has undercut the promotional appeal of major league stars?
Don't shed a tear for Norman Garcia. His new baseball card issue is devoted to Cuban baseball stars, and the major league's loss could be his gain.
Miami Herald -- August 22, 1994
by Pedro Gomez
Cuban baseball cards may be coming to a store near you. We're not talking about ones of Jose Canseco, Tony Perez or Luis Tiant either.
These cards, licensed through the Cuban Baseball Federation, will feature players such as third baseball Omar Linares, shortstop German Mesa, first baseman Orestes Kindelan and pitcher Luis Rolando Arrojo, some of the top amateur players in the world who happen to play for the Cuban national team.
USA Today Baseball Weekly -- August 24, 1994
Linares, Mesa and company in Cuban set
"Baseball is very special in Cuba and this (set) is one way of recognizing their great players," said (Garcia Photo Ltd.) president Norm Garcia, who arranged the set....through Cubadeportes S.A.
Windsor Star -- October 1, 1994
Cuban Serie Selectiva Baseball Cards a Good Catch
by Bob Duff, Collectors Corner
If and when political ties are open again between Cuba and the United States, it is expected there will be a sudden influx of Cuban players into the majors...
The 132-card set is of outstanding quality, employing solid cardboard stock with full-colour portraits on front and back and detailed statistical information for each players past and career.
Baseball America -- November 14-27, 1994
Cuban Cards Become Hot Item
by Kevin Baxter
...while the idea of Cuban baseball cards sounds new, it's not without precedent.
In the 1940s, Cuban candy makers issued cards featuring stars from the island's professional league. The cards were distributed in cookie and candy packages.
But they were never marketed in great volume. When American-made cards featuring major
leaguers -- including Cuban born stars such as Minnie Minoso and Luis Tiant -- became widely available in the 1950's, the Cuban cards disappeared.
Their comeback, though long awaited, is a limited one.
The Georgia Straight -- February
Cuban Ball-Card Dream Pitched
by Kerry Banks
(Garcia)...called the Cuban consulate in
Toronto and asked if it could help. The consul general himself took
Garcia's film to the Toronto airport and handed it to a Cubana
Airlines pilot, who stashed the film in the cockpit, flew it to
Havana, and delivered it to a government official.
"I'm lucky the Cubans are so crazy about baseball," says
Garcia, "I don't think any other country would have offered
the same assistance."
Tuff Stuff --
Garcia Photo Ltd. was honored in the Spring of 1995 when Tuff Stuff magazine, requested that the 1994 Cuban Serie Selectiva league baseball cards be featured as the insert card to its April '95 edition. Long before many of the players became
well-known in North America, lucky collectors picked-up complimentary cards that would later be valuable collectors' items.
Sports Collectors Digest -- May 5, 1995
Cuban Baseball cards produced by Canadian
by Ross Foreman
"The fact that these cards are out on the market is a tremendous victory...." This has been like a dream come true," said (card producer Norman) Garcia.
"I like Cuban people and I like baseball, so I thought it was a natural. Baseball and baseball cards cut across all political lines," said Garcia, who was born in Canada.
Beckett Baseball Card Monthly -- May 1995
No Castro, but Plenty of Talent
Cuba's most famous athlete, Fidel Castro, won't be found in the newest card release in North America -- the 1994 Cuban Serie Selectiva league.
The set, produced by Garcia Photo Limited of Vancouver, was the brainchild of Canadian businessman Norman Garcia who obtained exclusive permission from the Cuban Federation of Amateur Baseball to use the players' images.
"For decades, baseball fans in North America and around the world have known that Cuba is a gold mine of baseball talent," Garcia says. "Until now, baseball and collectibles enthusiasts have not had the opportunity to obtain images and information on Cuban baseball players."
Beckett Future Stars -- May, 1996
Marlins Flamethrower Highlights Cuban issue
The first card of Marlins bonus baby Livan Hernandez light up the 1994 Cuban Serie Selectiva set.
Just 19 when his card made its debut, the 21-year old Hernandez defected last year, and Florida won the bidding war for his services.
Tuff Stuff – January 1998
by Keith Gentili
One item featuring (1997 World Series MVP Livan) Hernandez that may heat up in his 1994 card, issued as part of a 132-card set of Cuba's elite all-star league. Officially licensed by the Cuban Amateur Baseball Federation, the Serie Selectiva Set...includes...Hernandez, Ariel Prieto, Rolando Arrojo...Vladimir Nuñez,..and Osvaldo Fernandez.