Tag Archives: Dominican Republic

Adios Amigos! Latinos Dominate World Baseball Classic Finale!

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Latinos did indeed dominate the World Baseball Classic Finale and it wasn’t just Team Dominican Republic and  Team Puerto Rico!  The fans had a lot to say about it and they were plenty vocal  at this finale!   The Dominican Republic probably out-noised the Puerto Rican’s but it wasn’t because they weren’t trying. 

It started with the national anthems of both countries, both beautiful and bold and loudly sung by the local compatriots, and then with every strike, every hit, every call, every out, a loud and boisterous cheer would rise up from one side of the stadium or the other.  I didn’t really understand a lot of what the chants and cheers were about because I don’t speak Spanish, but there was no mistaken the enthusiasm from both sides of the field tonight.  And I loved it! 

I’ve always felt baseball was an American sport, my sport, and I’ve been rather complacent in that understanding.  I suppose secretly I felt it gave me just a tad bit of  superiority knowing I was an American spectator at “my sport” and no one loved and understood the sport quite as much as I did.  But that feeling quickly dissipated tonight as I watched how these two teams and their raucous rowdy fans with their horns and cowbells displayed their emotions with every bit the love, pride and enthusiasm I always felt was reserved for my team, my country.   And I found myself cheering just as loud as they were ~ for BOTH teams!  I mean how can you possibly pick one or the other?  You’ve gotta love them both, unless, of course, you’re from one of those two countries. 

And it wasn’t just at the game.  After the game we came across a young fan from Puerto Rico who was trying to take a picture with his cell phone of his one-star flag by holding the flag in one hand and trying to balance the camera in the other.  My sister offered her help as he explained he was trying to send the pic to his girlfriend.  He then gave us a brief lesson on the history of the flag and how important it was that they were in the WBC Finals.  Puerto Rico ended up losing to the Dominican Republic by a score of 3-0, as the Dominican Republic went 8-0 and became the first team to go unbeaten in a WBC.

But it didn’t seem to matter, at least not to this fan.  He was just happy to be a part of the experience.   And so were we.  The crowd was composed of Hispanics and Latinos happy, proud and loud, to be there.   It was exciting and humbling to witness that fan base.  I’ve attended several games in Mazatlan, Mexico, and it was the same thing there.  This isn’t just an American sport anymore folks, if, in fact, it ever was.  It belongs to all of us. 

Congratulations to the Dominican Republic and the Puerto Rican teams for an honorable display of  the love of baseball and patriotism combined.  And so, until the next World Baseball Classic brings all of us together again ~ sayonara, tot ziens and  adios amigos!

WBC 2013 ~ Final Rosters Include MVP’s & All Stars

wbc rosterThe final rosters for the World Baseball Classic include 45 of Major League Baseball’s “cream of the crop”.  Among those listed are Miguel Cabrera, 2012 American League Triple Crown winner and Most Valuable Players Ryan Braun, Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Jimmy Rollins, Miguel Tejada and Joey Votto. 

Here’s a list of those 45 MLB players along with the country they’ll be suited up for:

JOEY VOTTO
CANADA
JUSTIN MORNEAU
CANADA
RUSSELL MARTIN
CANADA
 
 
EDINSON VOLQUEZ
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
FERNANDO RODNEY
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
 Red = Duplicates
 
EDINSON VOLQUEZ
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
FERNANDO RODNEY
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
HANLEY RAMIREZ
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
JOSE REYES
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
JOSE VALVERDE
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
MIGUEL TEJADA
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
NELSON CRUZ
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
ROBINSON CANO
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
 
 
ADRIAN GONZALEZ
MEXICO
YOVANI GALLARDO
MEXICO
 
 
ANDRUW JONES
NETHERLANDS
 
 
ALEX RIOS
PUERTO RICO
CARLOS BELTRAN
PUERTO RICO
JAVIER VAZQUEZ
PUERTO RICO
YADIER MOLINA
PUERTO RICO
 
 
ADAM JONES
USA
BEN ZOBRIST
USA
BRANDON PHILLIPS
USA
CHRIS PEREZ
USA
CRAIG KIMBREL
USA
DAVID WRIGHT
USA
GIANCARLO STANTON
USA
GIO GONZALEZ
USA
HEATH BELL
USA
JIMMY ROLLINS
USA
JOEY MAUER
USA
MARK TEIXEIRA
USA
R A DICKEY
USA
RYAN BRAUN
USA
RYAN VOGELSONG
USA
SHANE VICTORINO
USA
 
 
ASDRUBAL CABRERA
VENEZUELA
CARLOS GONZALEZ
VENEZUELA
CARLOS ZAMBRANO
VENEZUELA
ELVIS ANDRUS
VENEZUELA
FRANCISCO RODRIGUEZ
VENEZUELA
MARTIN PRADO
VENEZUELA
MIGUEL CABRERA
VENEZUELA
MIGUEL MONTERO
VENEZUELA
OMAR INFANTE
VENEZUELA
PABLO SANDOVAL
VENEZUELA
RAMON HERNANDEZ
VENEZUELA

“Juan Marichal: My Journey from the Dominican Republic to Cooperstown”

Garlic Fries and Baseball’s  Book Review

Juan Marichal: My Journey from the Dominican Republic to Cooperstown  By:  Juan Marichal, Lew Freedman  October 7, 2011

I was in sync with this book from the moment I first began reading it.  It was an easy read, which is exactly what I was in the mood for at the time.  The book is about Juan Marichal, a young Pitcher from the Dominican Republic whose talents earn him a trip to the United States to try for a spot in the major leagues.

Young Juan Marichal as a SF Giant

The book offers a different perspective; each chapter begins with a professional analysis of Juan’s life during that chapter’s specific time period and ends with Juan telling  his story, in his own words, to end the chapter.  He writes as he talks.  His English is that of someone who was born and raised in the Dominican Republic but has spent many years in the United States with his fellow Latinos and also with a wide variety of friends and teammates, speaking and writing with a bit of Latino character  which I found endearing.  He was very careful not to use curse words and was able to convey his message with some laughable moments to get his point across.  But some of the stories he shared from his early days in this country  were heartbreaking.

Marichal’s Trademark “High Kick”

Marichal talks in detail about the typical black-in-a-white country problems that his Latino teammates shared with him.  He was able to overcome those civil rights issues because he could play baseball.  He could play it better than the majority of the other ball players and he overcame the prejudice and intolerance because of that.  He writes with great humor sharing stories about teammates, victories, defeats and the genuine homesickness he felt when he first left his country for the United States, his baseball career with the San Francisco Giants,  the Hall of Fame and back home again.   The one regret during his career was the fight he had with Johnny Roseboro in a Giants-Dodgers game on August 22, 1965.  He writes painstakingly about the events that lead to the altercation, the remorse he felt for years afterwards, and the friendship that developed between the two men until Roseboro’s death in 2002.

Juan Marichal Today. Photo courtesy Mikemccan.blogspot.com

There’s much more in the book of course.  The one thing Marichal is most proud of besides his baseball career is his family and we’re allowed to meet them, his beautiful wife and children, through his stories and photographs .  I find Juan Marichal to be one of the most interesting baseball players I’ve studied, maybe because of that crazy baseball duel he pitched nearly 50 years ago against  Warren Spahn.  He writes about that game with great enthusiasm, obviously one of his favorite moments in baseball.   But he’s also one of my favorite athletes, probably because he’s a true gentleman and he remains truly humble after all the honor and accolades that have been given him.  And after reading the book I came away with the feeling he deserved each and every one of them ~ the honor and accolades I mean.

I enjoyed this book very much.  I’ve heard others  asked who they’d most like to have a long conversation with.  I think I’d like to visit with Juan Marichal.  Don’t you just know he’d have some interesting and wonderful stories to tell?  And I’d like to hear each and every one of them, but for now I’ll have to settle in and wait for another book.  It’ll be worth the wait it I’m sure.

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