Thursday, August 25, 2011

Marines playing baseball with Dominican kids, ninos Dominicanos jugando pelota

The Dominican Baseball Guy came across this photo on his google alerts for Dominican baseball news, and what a shot it is:
American BI's play baseball with Dominican kids, from US National Archives
The shot was taken in 1965 during the US occupation of the Dominican Republic.  The occupation was ordered by President LBJ as he feared a "second Cuba on America's doorstep."  The USA also occupied the country from 1916-1924 with plans to make it a protectorate.  

There were early theories that the Americans brought the game during the first of these occupations.  Nowadays, most agree that the Aloma brothers from Cuba brought the game to the island around the turn of the century.  However, there are many stories of classic games between the USA military and Dominican teams during both of these occupations, and these troops surely influenced the game on the island through these organized games and pickup games such as in the picture here.

The picture comes from the US National Archives and the Dominican Baseball Guy will be scouring the archives for more photos like this one.

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