By: Alexandria Rogers
InteRDom Correspondent, Alexandria, has completed three years of her Bachelor’s degree in Sports Administration and Spanish at the University of Miami, Florida. She is participating in the 2013 10-week Caribbean Summer Program. You can read more about Alexandria and her participation in the Correspondent Program here.
After a slow first week at work, these past two weeks have been really great! I am really getting to see an inside aspect of Major League Baseball and all that it encompasses. I have had the opportunity to meet the assistant General Manager of the Milwaukee Brewers, among many other people, along with visits to a few of the MLB academies. These MLB academies house Dominican players that have signed a contract with the specific team. While there, the players have the opportunity to play against other MLB academies, and if fortunate enough, have the opportunity to go to the United States to play in the teams minor league system and eventually progress to the big league. So far, my favorite is the San Diego Padres academy that is located in Najayo, Dominican Republic.
The academy is situated on top of a mountain and views of the ocean are always in sight. Along with the ocean view, the academy is equipped with a batting cage, 3 baseball fields, a large weight room, locker room and very nice dining facility While I was there, I also got the opportunity to sit and watch a little bit of the game between the Padres and Chicago White Sox. Even though there were definitely less than 100 people in attendance, I could definitely feel the energy from the people and became excited as I was watching my first Dominican baseball game.
This past weekend was the Major League Baseball RBI tournament in which baseball and softball teams from Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and Curacao all come to the country to play in a 3 day tournament. The winners of the senior and junior division will travel to the US to play against other teams to decipher who is the world champion. I had the opportunity to work with the softball teams from Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. The weekend was filled with early mornings but it was definitely a great experience! I got the opportunity to set up and prepare for the event in the early morning and also watch the softball game, which was a best out of three series that the Dominican softball team won. This was my first time ever watching a softball game and I loved the enthusiasm of the people. There were less than 40 people watching but with the music and chants they made, one would think there were a lot more. I have seen videos of Dominican League Baseball and I was very surprised at all the energy that was present for a little league game! Watching baseball and softball is definitely a different experience in DR than watching it in America. There is so much passion among the people and it definitely makes the game a unbelievable experience!
The blog also provides useful information for students and inspires lively debate and increased interest in exchange and the development of Hispaniola.