BASEBALL BUSINESS

Scout Spent 13 Years in Cuban Prison

In 1996, Juan Ignacio Hernandez Nodar was a 38-year-old baseball scout trying to get Cuban baseball players to defect. Today, he is a 51-year-old former convict who spent 13 years in a notorious Cuban prison because of his activities as a scout—helping defectors is serious crime. At the time of his arrest, Hernandez Nodar was trying to help Orlando Hernandez, better known as "El Duque," get a Major League contract and had already helped four other players into the United States, including World Series winning pitcher and MVP Livan Hernandez. But over a decade in jail has not dissuaded Hernandez Nodar from going back into the scouting and defection business. "For each year I spent behind bars, I vow to get one Cuban player into the U.S.," he says. "The will to do this is more important than the money—and I've got plenty of will."