The history of the Dominican Republic in the world of baseball is one with much success, talent, and many Hall of Famers. However, in the two previous installments of the World Baseball Classic (W.B.C.), fate has not been as kind to the island-nation.
In 2006 and 2009, the Dominican Republic was represented by talented coaches and players alike, only to stumble across the finish line both years. In 2006, the D.R. finished the competition in fourth place, as a semi-finalist. The next time around in 2009 they continued to stuggle, despite fielding arguably the best team in the tournament, being eliminated in the first round. Needless to say, they have their work cut out for them come March seventh.
The Dominican Republic fields over a hundred players in Major League Baseball today, along with countless minor league prospects. Today, most would argue that they the most talented athletes to the sport are from the Dominican, and with good reason. That being said, let's meet some of the representatives who will wear the cap above, this year:
Robinson Cano: Robinson is currently the second baseman for the New York Yankees. He has appeared in 4 All-Star Games, 2 Home-Run Derbies (winning one), captured 2 Gold Gloves, and 4 Silver Sluggers Awards. Additionally he was part of the 2009 World Series Champion Yankees team.
Jose Bautista: Jose is a current outfielder for the Toronto Blue Jays. In past years he has provent to be a threat at the plate, posting home run totals over the past 3 years in the 50's, 40's and high 20's accordingly. Over the past three seasons, he has made 3 All-Star Game appearances, captured 2 home run titles, and 2 Silver Sluggers Awards.
David Ortiz: David is currenlty a member of the Boston Red Sox of the American League. In his career, he has been part of 2 World Series Champion teams. Additionally, he has made 8 All-Star Game appearances, captured 5 Silver Slugger Awards, a home run title, and currently is the all time leader in home runs and rbi's as a designated hitter. The Sporting News named David to the All-Decade Team of the 2000's.
In addition to that big-three, the team will also feature notable players this W.B.C. such as Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez, Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto, Ubaldo Jiminez, and Nelson Cruz.
The cap above features a red brim, blue crown and an interlocking "R" and "D" on the front in red and white (traditionally read as Republica Dominicana). On the side, the cap features the flag of the Dominican Republic, and on the back the World Baseball Classic logo is centered.
Play begins in group C against Venezuela, with games against Puerto Rico, and Spain to follow.
This cap can be found HERE at New Era.
Check back in the coming days for the preview of the next team in the series, the United States of America.