Baseball in the Dominican Republic Essay

This essay has a total of 845 words and 4 pages.


Baseball in the Dominican Republic




Baseball in the Dominican Republic

Baseball was first brought over to the Dominican Republic in the 1870's, when thousands of
Cubans came fleeing to the island nation in refuge from the Ten Years' War. Along with
baseball, Cubans also brought with sugar producing expertise that had made them the
largest sugar producer in the Caribbean. Sugar immediately became the Dominican
Republic's key money-making export, but baseball took a little longer to come around. At
the turn of the century, many British of African descent came to the Dominican Republic
from St. Martin, Nevis, Tortola and other islands whose sugar industry was collapsing as
the Dominican cane fields were expanding. These Cocolos brought with them cricket and more
organizational social discipline, which were inhereted from their British backgrounds.
Cricket was an extremely popular sport in the Republic until baseball came to be the sport
of choice in the late 1930s.

Why has baseball has long become the cultural centerpiece of the Dominican Republic? There
are many factors to consider in answering this question. Because of the similarities to
baseball, cricket can be seen as the launchpad for the what has truly became the Dominican
nat1ional past-time. The popularity of cricket gave way to baseball which exploded by the
mid-twentieth century.

A major element in the baseball evolution in the Dominican Republic is the socio-economic
environment. The island consisteds of mostly workers of the sugar mills, which is
completely seasonal harvest. During the winter months, also known as the Dead season, the
workers did not have much to do. Baseball became the recreation of choice as practically
every man and boy picked up a bat and ball to enjoy the game during their off season. This
is still the case today, as the under-developed society (by Western standards) does not
have much choice when it comes to recreation. So they play baseball. And how sweetly it is
played! Another element in the socio-economic factor is for many young men, it is the only
road to success; either make it in baseball or go work in the mills. This is a drive which
pushes them even harder to become exceptional baseball players.

San Pedro De Marcoris, a costal city of the Republic which is the center of sugar
production, is the only region in the world that has enough local talent to form a Major
League baseball team. Most of the people of this sugar mill concentration are Colocos, as
with most of the great baseball players of the Dominican Republic. So what is the
connection between baseball and these Dominicans of English descent? Many will consider
the hereditary aspect, as Colocos seem to be bigger in size than native Dominicans.
However, the culture that they advocate is the major link in this relationship. The
Colocos had a very organized and disciplined culture, carrying the British colonial
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