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Dominican Connection
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Atlanta - Until 1956, no Dominican had ever played in the major leagues. Since then, upwards of 750 have done so, an astonishing number for a small Caribbean country. As of the start of the 2008 season, there were 98 Dominicans on big league rosters, more than 11 percent of the total, far more than any other foreign nationality. What is it that fuels this remarkable migration, and how are these young, poor kids learning the skills needed to compete in America's baseball shrines? In the dusty fields scattered across this impoverished nation, or on mean urban streets, boys gather to play ball, often with makeshift equipment. For fun? Certainly, but there is more. There is the dream of a better life, a much better life than in their own land. Before writing this book, George Gedda had spent 38 years as a State Department correspondent for The Associated Press. His duties took him to 88 countries, almost all in the company of secretaries of state. He also made more than 30 reporting trips to Cuba. He provided coverage from the State Department for national radio outlets for three decades. He has written some 100 magazine pieces on topics of international interest. Shortly after his retirement from AP in May 2007, George spent six months in the Dominican Republic gathering material for "Dominican Connection." A life-long baseball fan. George began rooting for the Brooklyn Dodgers at age six. His interest in international affairs was sparked by a two-year stint in Venezuela with the Peace Corps before joining the AP in 1965.
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