Anyone watching Team Cuba in the World Baseball Classic has undoubtedly heard the sound of a unique air horn after a run is scored. And it’s not just a run. A strikeout brings out the horn. A base hit does, too.
There are often sounds in the ballpark that fans won’t hear because it isn’t picked up by TV cameras. And there are often others that are distinctly heard because they are official from the team. Neither is the case with this horn. It is an unofficial celebration that is loud enough that it can be heard in the stands and broadcasts alike.
As long as Cuba remains in the World Baseball Classic, expect to hear more of that horn sounding out during games.
CUBA TIES IT!! Horn guy goes wild
— Ben Verlander (@BenVerlander) March 9, 2023
Here’s all you need to know about Team Cuba’s air horn celebration.
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Cuban horn celebration, explained
It might sound loud enough to be an official team celebration, but it is actually the work of one passionate fan: Pablo Avila.
According to MLB.com, Avila, known as The Horn Guy, is a devoted Team Cuba fan. He is a truck driver who lives in Houston, but is originally from Cuba. And he’s been to each World Baseball Classic, traveled to the Olympics, junior tournaments and World Cups.
“Wherever they go, I’m going,” Avila told MLB.com.
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Avila is picking up a following during this edition of the World Baseball Classic, but he’s been well known on the international stage for a while. He said during Cuba’s games in Taiwan for the 2023 World Baseball Classic, he’s had selfie requests from other fans in the stands. Even Team Cuba’s players are well acquainted with The Horn Guy.
And while the celebration has been met with mixed results as it has received more of a global reception, it has plenty of staunch defenders, including former Orioles outfielder Adam Jones, who took to Twitter to praise the horn.
“You can tell people aren’t cultured at all by the bs comments about the guy with the horn. Travel and see other cultures geez. Sorry other countries have more passion I see. Seen this before,” Jones wrote.
LOVE THE GUY WITH THE HORN. LATIN PRIDE!!!!
— 10 (@SimplyAJ10) March 8, 2023
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It is starting to look like a difficult battle for Cuba to advance to the second round of the World Baseball Classic. The team lost 4-2 to the Netherlands in its opener, and fell to Team Italy 6-3 in extra innings on Thursday to fall to 0-2 in the round-robin pool play. In order to advance to the second round, it will need to win all three remaining games — and will likely need some help from the other teams.
But as long as Cuba remains in the running, expect to hear plenty more of that horn at its games.