Life in a Dominican baseball academy

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When baseball in the Dominican Republic is mentioned, stories of kids using milk bottles for gloves, shady dealings with Buscones and unscrupulous scouts, and the spectre of easily-available PEDs are often soon to follow. There’s another side to that, however, and it’s a side none of us ever really hear much about:

Living in a high quality hotel and school 6 days a week, 10 months
of the year, boys from the Dominican Republic and Latin America
practice baseball.

At the San Diego Padre’s Baseball Academy, tucked away outside of
San Cristobal, these boys learn more than just baseball. Giving these
boys 16.5 years old and older an opportunity to develop in many ways,
the academy gives the players found by scouts a rounded education. They
spend a few hours a day practicing baseball and then they go to their
other classes. English and computer skills are two of the main
curriculums taught in order to make a submersion into American culture
easier when they get signed on with a team, the ultimate goal.

I’m sure there are pros and cons of the academies themselves — and this story, coming as it does from the Dominican Today could be an exercise in mild propaganda — but it’s interesting all the same. Most interesting is the photo gallery, which can be found here.

Kid makes play at Yankee Stadium with popcorn in his glove

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We’ve seen video of guys catching foul balls while holding babies. We’ve seen foul balls land in full cups of beer. We’ve seen ballplayers chase foul balls and steal fans’ popcorn. I have, not, however, seen a fan catch a foul ball with a glove full of popcorn before last night.

That happened in the Twins Yankees game when this young man made a play on a ball down the left field line despite the fact that he was using his Rawlings as a snack holder:

 

Good job going to his left, despite the popcorn. Not everyone can do that.

Well, you got part of it down, Derek. At least you leaned a little to the left on that one.