~ Archive for April 30, 2004 ~

Great Resources on Dominican Baseball

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As interest has grown on the growing numbers of Latin Americans, especially Dominicans, in the Major Leagues, I am often asked what the best resources are for finding out about the link between baseball and the DR.

There are a number of books that deal with Dominican baseball, but the best of the lot that I have come across is Rob Ruck’s The Tropic of Baseball. Unlike other books that exaggerate or demonize certain elements of the Dominican pastime, sports historian Professor Ruck provides a well-written and well-researched take on Dominican baseball that also provides a good background on Dominican history and culture.

I have been fortunate to have been tangentially involved in another production underway by Professor Ruck, who together with Daniel Manatt, Jose Mota and Christia Alou has been producing The Republic of Baseball: Dominican Giants of the American Game, a documentary dealing with the first big wave of Dominican talent to hit Major League Baseball in the late 1950s and early 1960s (Juan Marichal, Manny Mota, and Felipe Alou and his brothers Matty and Jesus…). The film has a great feel to it, and along with newly-rediscovered footage of Marichal’s legkick and other highlights of the past, it includes interviews with not only past-greats but current Dominican players that include Alex Rodriguez, Pedro Martinez, Alfonso Soriano and Miguel Tejada. They are in the final stages of production and are seeking distribution of the film. Hopefully we will see this great piece soon either on the air or in theaters!

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