Winter Baseball in the Dominican Republic
If you’re anything like me, you just can get enough of baseball. That means winter can be kind of a drag here in the U.S., but a short hop away in the Dominican Republic, you can get all the baseball you need and some stellar beaches to boot. The Winter League games are played from October through January, picking up nicely where the MLB leaves off. Believe it or not, there are more than 100 players in the “professional baseball leagues” of the U.S. who hail from this tiny half of an island.
Celines Toribio, baseball personality and one of People En Espanol magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful in 2008 said, “Baseball in the Dominican Republic is more than a sport, it’s a passion reflecting the soul of the Dominican people. The distinctively Dominican experience of seeing future baseball stars play on their native soil is incomparable, especially to U.S. baseball fans. Visitors to the DR have the opportunity of a lifetime to soak up the warm Dominican sun while catching a Winter League game.”
Winter League consists of 50 games played during its four month run. Many pro players in the U.S. head home to play in the Winter League each year, so you never know who could turn up. A few Dominican natives you may recognize are Sammy Sosa, Pedro Martinez, Manny Ramirez, Pedro Feliz, Albert Pujols (hottie), David Ortiz, Jose Reyes, Vladimir Guerrero and Bartolo Colon.
The Winter League consists of six teams:
- La Romana: Azucareros del Este
- Santo Domingo: Tigres del Licey and Leones del Escogido
- San Pedro de Macoris: Estrellas Orientales
- Santiago: Gigantes del Cibao and Las Aguilas Cibaenas
For more information, check out the Winter League schedule.