The Good Life

Pelota In The Sun

Baseball is the supreme sport in the Dominican Republic, and the small country has created more major leaguers than any nation other than the United States
By Ken Shouler | From Paul Giamatti, May/June 2019
Pelota In The Sun
Erika Santelices/AFP/Getty Images
Children play baseball at the Olympic Centre in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
The sun beats down, punishing green and brown ballfields. The image is every bit as familiar as the strains of meringue and salsa rising from the dusty alleys. It is said that life in the Dominican Republic follows four principles: God, country, liberty and baseball. Not necessarily in that order. Pelota , another word for “baseball,” challenges that pecking order every month of the year. Long after Major League Baseball cedes its summer dominance to brown leaves and chilled air, the crack of ball meeting ash echoes across the verdant fields of this Caribbean country. Some say baseball is in the blood of Dominicans, who may start playing at the age of three. …
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