Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Historia de los Gigantes del Cibao

This is the official historia de los Gigantes del Cibao, as espoused by the official team website:
At the start of the season of professional baseball in the Dominican Republic in the year 1995, the Dominican League of Professional Baseball informed that next year there was the possibility to create another tax exemption for a baseball franchise to expand the league, which only had five teams at the time: Aguilas Cibaenas, Leones del Escogido, Tigres del Licey, the Bulls of La Romana, and The Eastern Stars of San Pedro de Macoris.

This is when a group of Francomacorisanos, led by former major league player Julian Javier took steps to get the nomination of a franchise for this city. The directors of the Regional Development Council accompanied Julian Javier: Dr. Jose Anibal Garcia, Mr. Abraham Abukarma and Dr. Isocrates Peña. These individuals formed a committee to get the long awaited dream of a team in San Fransisco de Macoris. Lawyer Siquió NG de la Rosa joined this committee as the first president of the club, and later they got the necessary partners to invest in this project, thus far unattainable due to economic and the organizational shortfalls.
To operate this franchise, the company had to create Northeast Baseball Club, which has 34 founding members from different provinces of the region. Among those are: Carlos Eliseo Negrin, Celso Ventura, Miguel Angel Almanzar, Rafael Almanzar, Jose Adolfo Herrera, Bienvenido Herrera Khoury, and other partners nearby cities.
It was the hard and persistent work of this committee, that on April 15, 1996 they were granted permission to operate the team, and immediately began to restore the old Julian Javier stadium, to put it in the best condition to play. The first name was: Giants of the Northeast, on the understanding of regional integration, planted by the managers of those years.
The first three years of operation of the team it was the Dominican Professional Baseball League that guided and advised the team of the steps to be followed for the proper functioning of the youngest team of the institution.
In the year 1999, due to a disastrous season where the team broke the record for least games won (9-51), controlling shareholders decided to sell the team. That's how it passed into the hands of Dr. Julio Hazim, who immediately renamed it Chickens of the Cibao, remaining the same for two years. In the first season under Dr. Hazim the stadium Julian Javier got roofing and bleachers, and drainage was fixed. After two years a new ownership group bought the team, who decided to return to the previous name, no longer the Giants of the Northeast, but Giants of the Cibao.
The name Gigantes del Cibao responds to the policy of the new presidency: to integrate all the Cibao, especially children and youth, so that they may give their support to the team, which is still the youngest in the league.
Yea the Dominican Baseball Guy knows, kind of wordy, probably because it is translated directly from the Spanish. To summarize the historia de los Gigantes del Cibao, this will be the team's fourteenth year of existence, after being founded in 1996. Ownership has changed hands several times. The stadium is named after Julian Javier, a native of the city, who had a distiguished baseball career in the MLB, as well as a long career in the Dominican Winter Baseball League. A number of the founders and committee members throughout the founding process are still with the team in varying capacities. The current president is Laurentino Genao and several of his family members work in various capacities in the front office as well.
Live action from the Julian Javier stadium of the Gigantes del Cibao
Julian Javier Stadium, by Dominican Baseball Guy
Their goal as a team is to represent all of the Cibao. This is the central valley of the Dominican Republic. There is one problem I see with this vision and that is that another team, with a long and distinguished history also resides in the Cibao, that being the Aguilas of Santiago. However, according to Juan Mercado, Communications Director, they have a number of fans from other cities in the Cibao, and a number of younger people pledge their support to los Gigantes over the Aguilas, being that they are a younger team. And that is the historia de los Gigantes del Cibao up to this point.

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