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2010/01/30

Sports in Dominican Republic

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Baseball, or ball as they usually call the Dominicans is the sport that is practiced in the country for what used to be called the "national sport".

For the climatic conditions of the country, is played throughout the year at amateur level but the official season of professional teams is during the autumn-winter (October to February) and that is the time that professional players can participate at local.

The country has excellent baseball players who play in the Major League Baseball (United States) and Immortal Juan Marichal. There are currently six professional baseball teams:


* Aguilas Cibaeñas (Santiago)
* Leones del Escogido (Santo Domingo)
* Tigres del Licey (Santo Domingo)
* Estrellas Orientales (San Pedro de Macorís)
* Gigantes del Cibao (San Francisco de Macorís)
* Toros del Este (La Romana)

Let's mentioned some famous dominican baseball players who play or played in Major League Baseball:
- Juan Marichal.
- Albert Pujols.
- George Bell.
- Sammy Sosa.
- Alex Rodriguez.
- Pedro Martínez.
- David Ortiz (Big Papi).
- Tony Fernández.
- Miguel Tejada.
- Vladimir Guerrero.
- Felipe Alou.
- Manny Ramirez.

And many, many others.


But it is also common practice other sports like volleyball, basketball, soccer, swimming, softball, track, etc.. For years, the volleyball was the second most popular sport at national level and could be carried out in very simple facilities.

Two dominicans play actually in the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the United States:
1- Al Horford (first dominican in an NBA All Star Game) who plays for the Atlanta Hawks.
2- Charlie Villanueva (Detroit Pistons)

Therefore, the first international successes, apart from baseball, were achieved in this discipline, notably the women's national team.

By increasing the sports facilities in the country, especially in large cities, other sports were developed and some have reached a level of quality in the domestic scene, such as basketball.

In the Dominican Republic and other countries of our continent, the Europeans who brought football to the island in a very special way the Spanish.

Although still the standard of football played in the country is not comparable with other countries in the region, has slowly been overcome and there are already Dominican players who play in leagues in other countries.


The origin of athletics in the Dominican Republic dates back to 1946 when the country participated in the V Central American and Caribbean Games held in Barranquilla, Colombia.

The National Federation of Athletics was founded on 21 March 1953, with the aim of participating in the VII Central American Games and the Caribbean, to be held in Mexico next year.


One of the greatest moment in dominican sports was given by Félix Sánchez (New York, 30 August 1977), track and field athlete Dominican Olympic champion in 2004 in the discipline of 400m hurdles.

During 2009 Boxer Felix Diaz got a Gold Medal at the Olympic Games held in China.

The Dominican Ministery of Sports (SEDEFIR) is the main sports' institution in the Dominican Republic.


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