I conduct research on baseball at the local level in the Dominican Republic. I also collect donations of baseball and softball gear for the people with whom I work.
This post is a big shout out to those who generously donated gear to my ongoing drive. I want to take a moment to introduce a community your donations impact: Club Juan Alberto Ozoria in Boca Chica.
Juan Alberto Ozoria: Sport, Culture, and Recreation Club is a community center, like the YMCA. In baseball programming, it works a lot like US Little Leagues. Unlike them, it has no backing. Club Ozoria receives little financial assistance from the federal government.
What, you say? Baseball is so big in the Dominican Republic that the government must want to subsidize the growth of ballplayers. And Boca Chica is a hub of MLB activity, with 14 player development academies located in or around it, so much money must come in from Major League Baseball. That’s crazy!
Indeed. It is crazy. The state does not reinvest in its baseball future. Not much MLB money trickles down to the community level. That’s why your donations are so important.
It’s hard to hold practice when 45 kids share the gear held in one duffel bag. It’s hard to work on hitting when balls and bats are dead. It’s hard to field and run without cleats. You really gotta get creative to make it work.
E. B. Gallardo