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Manny Mota

MLB Should Visit Dominican Republic Field Of Dreams

Fields of Dreams abound in Dominican Republic

You don’t need to go far in the Dominican Republic to find a Field of Dreams. They are in every corner of the beautiful Caribbean island.

They’re in the capital of Santo Domingo and Santiago, the Dominican’s two largest cities, and in almost every small village on the island. After the tremendously successful Field of Dreams game in Iowa on Thursday night, it’s time to take a regular season game to Estadio Quisqueya Juan Marichal.

Better yet, let’s dress it up and show America the equivalent of what we saw in picturesque Dyersville, Iowa. Major League Baseball can put the game on one of the many Dominican Republic fields with the backdrop of sugar cane behind the outfield.

We loved the spectacle of the Field of Dreams game. It was an unquestionable hit, a literal and figurative home run. It was perfect in almost every sense. 

Hopefully MLB can have a game in Dyersville annually. It also would be nice to have a game in the Latin American island that produces more big leaguers than anywhere outside the United States.

Dominican Republic natives spread throughout MLB

There were 98 natives of the Dominican Republic on Opening Day rosters this year. Only the U.S. produced more. 

Sure, MLB has held spring training games in the Dominican Republic many times, but a regular season game on national television would mean much more. 

Speaking with Minnesota Twins third base coach Tony Diaz recently, we discussed the importance of Americans seeing where Dominican players come from. Let’s show the American public the culture, people and traditions.

To appreciate the sacrifices these players make, it would help to visit the Dominican Republic. Let’s tell the story of the Dominican Republic to America so fans can learn a bit about the land that produced Juan Marichal, Vladimir Guerrero Sr. and Pedro Martinez.

Let’s teach the world about Felipe Rojas Alou, the former Montreal Expos and San Francisco Giants manager. He was the first Dominican manager in the majors. He also was the first native of the Dominican to reach the majors after signing with an MLB team in the island.

Ozzie Virgil was the first Dominican to reach the majors with the New York Giants, but the Monte Cristi native actually was signed after he graduated from high school in the Bronx. 

Felipe Alou set the course

Alou and Marichal, a 10-time All-Star and Hall of Famer, were the first Dominican All-Stars in 1962. Some of the brightest stars at the 2021 All-Star Game at Coors Field had Dominican roots. That group includes the Montreal born and Dominican raised 2021 All-Star Game MVP Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Fellow All-Stars Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis Jr. gave the Dominican a trio of 22-year-old superstars at the 2021 All-Star Game. In many ways, they are are the faces of baseball. 

Juan Soto, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Vladimir Guerrero bring Dominican Republic flair to MLB.

The Field of Dreams game in Dyersville captured the game’s past beautifully. A regular season game in the Dominican Republic would capture MLB’s present and future. 

MLB has already played regular season games in Japan and Mexico to go along with Canada, obviously. Regular season games have also been held in non-big league cities in Puerto Rico and Iowa. It’s time to put a game in the Dominican Republic too. 

Let’s show the world why baseball captures the soul of this beautiful Caribbean island. They can play at Estadio Quisqueya Juan Marichal, the stadium where Licey and Escogido play their winter league games. Or they can play at one of the many Dominican academies operated by big league clubs. Let’s teach them about Manny Mota’s contributions to the island and MLB.

There are many options. It’s time.

As they say in the Dominican, vamos al play. Let’s take MLB to a ballfield in the Dominican Republic.

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