Dominican Day at the Ballpark 2018 kicks off with honors for Yankees’ Miguel Andujar, Dellin Betances

The passion and pride players from the Dominican Republic bring to baseball will be celebrated in ballparks across the U.S. starting Aug. 29 at Yankee Stadium, the first of six Dominican Republic Day at the Park events this season. 

The series will offer a salute to past and present Dominican players who have given so much to the game and helped make the sport what it is today.

“Baseball is woven into the fabric of Dominican culture and we are proud of the contributions of so many talented players from our country,” said Magaly Toribio, marketing advisor for the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism.

“With our major teams in or near many of our major tourist destinations, we invite all visitors to the Dominican Republic to experience the heart and passion that goes into the sport during one of our winter league games.”

The first Dominican Day event at Yankee Stadium paid tribute to the Bombers’ rookie third baseman Miguel Andujar (above, left) and reliever Dellin Betances (far right, with Carlos Castillo, consul general of the Dominican Republic and Lucien Echavarria, director of tourism of the Dominican Republic).

Upcoming Dominican Day at the Park dates and locations are: 

September 2: Atlanta Braves

September 4: Chicago White Sox

September 15: Houston Astros

September 19: Philadelphia Phillies

September 26: Boston Red Sox

The Dominican Republic accounts for the largest percentage of foreign-born players on Major League rosters — nearly 100  — representing 36% of all foreign players and 11% of all MLB starters. 

For over 100 years, baseball has been at the center of cultural life in the Dominican Republic. Though the origins of baseball in the Dominican aren’t exactly known, historians suggest that baseball first came to the island around the 1880s. Though it is a historical misperception that American Marines brought the game to the island during the 1916 invasion, the United States did play an integral, though indirect, role in bringing baseball to the country.

The first baseball teams on the island were formed around 1894. By the 1920s, Dominican teams were competing against other Caribbean countries and teams in North America. The game enjoyed most of its popularity in the southeast of the country, where generations involved in the sugarcane industry learned the sport during seasonal down time.

The sugarcane factory owners actually encouraged employees to participate in the sport and gave financially to the practice of this game. This area of the country still produces the greatest number of players who go on to play professionally.

Whether you’re a lifelong baseball fan or curious to check out a game, the Dominican Republic has it all. For information on baseball, hospitality options, local excursion providers, natural attractions and more, visit the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism’s official website at:

Lucien Echavarria, director of tourism of the Dominican Republic and Carlos Castillo, consul general of the Dominican Republic hosted Dominican Day at Yankee Stadium.