BALTIMORE (CNN) -- A pitching coach from the 300-member Cuban
baseball delegation sought asylum in the United States on Tuesday, and two
to four other delegates are missing following their game against the Orioles in
Baltimore, law enforcement sources told CNN.
The defector, identified by the Cuban American National Foundation in
Miami as Rigoberto Herrera, 54, did not leave on the team plane which
returned to Havana early Tuesday.
Law enforcement sources said Herrera was currently being processed by
the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.
INS spokesman Dan Kane told CNN the agency "cannot confirm or deny
whether anyone has applied for asylum in the United States to preserve the
individual's right to privacy."
All 30 players from Cuba's all-stars baseball team appeared on stage with
Cuban President Fidel Castro in Havana on Tuesday at a celebration in
honor of the team's 12-6 victory in Monday's rematch with the Orioles.
Miami-based Cuban-American sports agent Joe Cubas, who has helped
several Cuban baseball players defect, confirmed that he had contacts with
"a lot of the players" who came to Baltimore, but security was tight and the
Cuban players "were rushed out of there" following the game.
In addition to Herrera, up to four members of the Cuban delegation did
board a chartered passenger jet that left Baltimore-Washington International
Airport early Tuesday morning for the return flight, the law enforcement
The win by the Cuban all-stars avenged a 3-2 loss to Baltimore March 28
Havana, in a game that had made the Orioles the first Major League U.S.
club to play on Cuban soil in four decades.