They arrived in town earlier this week with ambitions of competing on the baseball diamond with kids just like them. But these youngsters from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic have been waiting months to get here and experiencing the game of baseball they love and seek for a profession.
So there they were, with some parents and the coaches of Lige de baseball Los Trinitaros and with their uniform tops gathering around the left field side at Citi Field on a hot Thursday afternoon.
“It’s there first time at a ballpark and all they have done is talk about this and now look at them,” said Miry Correra. She is a Bronx resident and owner of a cell phone store in the Bronx and helped coordinate the trip to New York for the teams.
The youngest are 8-years old, and the oldest 17, and this past week they toured some of the sites of the big city and played ball against teams from the T M Baseball Academy at fields in the Bronx. Tony and Jessy Melendez also coordinated this effort with Miry, and received donations of baseball equipment for the kids who now have new bats, baseball cleats, hats, and other gear.
But their trip, which was arranged with their fundraising efforts in the Dominican Republic, culminated Thursday afternoon with a visit to watch the New York Mets and the Arizona Diamondbacks and a Friday night visit in the Bronx to Yankee Stadium and a chance to see one of their own, Alex Rodriguez and his last game as a New York Yankee.
The Mets donated 50 tickets to the group and gave the kids a tour of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda and their museum.