Baseball in the D.R has been a staple economically for the D.R for many years now. The Dominican government has a partnership with the MLB that works mutually for the both of them. The MLB has as far as taken kids in high school from the D.R and bringing them into their training programs. Many people in the D.R rely on baseball because that is the only way in their eyes they will be able to leave the island.
For the Dominican people baseball is the easiest way to make an income. Throughout this essay I will explain the history of baseball in the D.R, How the education system is influenced, and the successful career of David Ortiz.
Present day fans of baseball realize that there are many players that came from the D.R. However, they don’t really know the history behind Dominicans and baseball. In the 1800’s Cuba was the first people to show the dominicans baseball.
In MLB.com the article that explains the D.R’s baseball history states ““the Ten Years War (1868-1878) forced many of Cuba’s most passionate baseball fans to flee the country. Many of these individuals found solace on the shores of the Dominican Republic, where they attempted to introduce the sport to the island’s natives in the late 1880s and early
1890s.” (History) Natives of the D.R quickly took up this new sport of baseball and embraced it as their own. Very soon after being introduced to baseball the D.
R created their own professional league. Following the creation of the Dominican Republic’s professional league MLB teams began to take interest. With their interest they began importing players from the D.R, and it grew to as we know it today.
As stated in the introduction the Dominican government has a financial partnership with the MLB. Overall from an economic standpoint baseball has positively impacted the economy. The government of the D.R has gained money and salaries have increased due to this mutualistic relationship. From and educational standpoint many male kids are taken out of high school in hopes of creating top prospects for the MLB. The MLB has programs that are in the D.R that teach kids baseball rather than educational studies. In all the MLB pays the Dominican government and in return the MLB gains their desired top prospects.
This may seem all sunshine and rainbows however, “Most of the children under the web cast by MLB are placed back into an impoverished society without an education, which leaves little hope for procuring a respectable job.” (Wasch 7) This statement from “children Left Behind” by Adam Wasch puts a negative influence on the MLB. So many boys in the D.R try to pursue their baseball careers, but if they don’t succeed then the boys are often left jobless. This is one reason the D.R is economically struggle. Even though The MLB helps the D.R economy it also hurts it. The D.R hasn’t really made any solutions to this problem as of today. However they’re are people who have created a positive impact towards the D.R such as David Ortiz.
David Ortiz or “Big Papi” was one of the greatest hitters to ever step the field. David Ortiz is one of the best players to come from the D.R, and he believes the MLB has helped the Dominican Republic rather than harm it. He believes that the MLB has brought the island to a good light, and also believes that the game of baseball brings the Dominican Republic people together. In a way of giving back to his island he started a charity that funds children hospitals. His charity is called David Ortiz children’s fund.
As a young child Ortiz grew up in a baseball family his brother played baseball in the Dominican Republic professional league, and his parents strongly influenced it on him. According to David Ortiz’s biography it states “ Ortiz excelled in basketball as well as baseball. His father encouraged him to focus on baseball and to learn English in anticipation of playing pro ball in the United States”(David). Ortiz excelled in baseball, and before he knew it the Seattle Mariners signed him as a free agent. He eventually worked his way up but signed to the majors with Twins. Ortiz’s career didn’t really take off until he landed in Boston. At Boston he won some world series and broke many records. He spent 20 years in boston until he eventually retired.
The Dominican Republic has changed a way in which more black players are playing baseball. Before it was predominantly a white sport. Baseball gave the Dominican people something to strive for, and something for them to be great at.This research that I have conducted has given me a new perspective on baseball, and how it can help not only individuals but whole countries. For future research I will look in to history of baseball in Cuba because they are the ones who introduced the D.R to baseball.