On May 9, 1871, Cuban infielder Esteban Bellán became the first Hispanic player to appear in a major league game. The twenty-one-year-old joined the Troy Haymakers of the National Association as they lost 9-5 to the Boston Red Stockings.
The first game of the Professional Baseball League of Cuba was played in Havana on December 29, 1878. Led by player-manager Esteban Bellán, Habana defeated Almendares, 21-20. Bellán had also been the first Latin-born player to play in the American major leagues, spending three years in the National Association of Base Ball Players (NABBP) from 1868 to 1870, and three years in the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players (NAPBBP) from 1871 to 1873.