Over Spring Break, I read Sugarball: The American Game, the Dominican Game, by Alan Klein. I was very excited about reading this book, more so than the rest of the assignments, because I consider myself a huge baseball fan. I've played, like most American boys, most of my life. From the time I was 4 years old, until my sophomore year of college, I played organized baseball at a competitive level. This book, put into perspective how much some people not only love this game, but need this game, stronger than anytime I didn't feel like running at the end of practice. .
The Dominican Republic has long been a small nation dependant on a few resources they have to remain economically stable. Sugar Cane farming happens to be the most the choice resource to stay alive. Many Dominicans work on or around these sugar cane farms and to pass the time and boredom, they play baseball. But baseball to them is more than a pastime; it's a sense of community pride and connection. Communities are so consumed in their baseball team, that their paper features the local games on the front page before the major league news. The Dominicans also wear their community team's hat around instead to the major league team that may help the Dominican league. .
In a nation that poverty reigns, bĕisbol is a regarded as a religion. The Dominicans have gotten so good at the game that major league teams from the United States sent players and equipment to the Dominican to help develop players in hopes of building relationships that might mature into recruiting of young Dominican stars. The Dominicans even play their baseball in the winter, as to not interfere with the American schedules. .
As a personal example, in my senior year of high school, I played on a really good summer league baseball team out of Nashville, Tennessee. We had 7 players who were going on to play division 1 scholarships, 3 kids who would later be drafted, and one kid who was the number three overall draft pick (Dewann Brazelton, Expos).