Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dominican teen reflects on Dominican baseball and his new life in America

A group of immigrant high school students in Boston recently wrote essays reflecting on their new lives in America. One of those to write an essay was Edwin Soto, a Dominican Republic native.

Soto loves his new life in Boston and he loves baseball. However, according to Soto, the Dominican Republic "is the way it is" because of baseball:
All of those kids, they drop out of high school, and they think that if they play baseball that means that they’re going to make it. And that’s not the reality.
If young ball players in the Dominican Republic do not make it in baseball, then they really have no other options because most drop out of school to pursue baseball. To the contrary, American baseball players can play throughout high school and then college, and if they do not make it to the professional ranks then at least they have an education and can pursue other career options. In his essay, Soto says that he knows many boys from his home town that dropped out of school to pursue baseball. He wishes them well, but knows the odds are long.

While Soto does not plan to pursue a baseball career, he appreciates everything that the United States has given him as a knew immigrant. Soto says Americans do not necessarily appreciate the fact that they have hot water and electricity whenever they want it.  The Dominican Baseball Guy understands his thinking on this.  I had electricity maybe 6 hours per day during my time following the Gigantes in 2009 and took cold showers everyday in my small apartment...I was just happy to have running water.

He also says that most Dominicans think that the United States is just New York.  The Dominican Baseball Guy does not know how many times he has had that conversation with Dominicans in the Dominican Republic: O, you are from the United States, so you are from New York? --> No, I come from another state called Texas. --> O, so you are from New York. --> Yea, whatever, I am from New York.

So, The Dominican Baseball Guy can relate to Soto and other Dominican immigrants. Soto hopes to attend college and perhaps be a firefighter.  He is certainly wise beyond his years in understanding the implications of being an immigrant and of Dominican baseball players pursuing baseball careers.

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