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2019

Cleveland Indians, Dominican Republic to Celebrate Opening of World-Class Baseball Academy

On Tuesday, April 30,2019 representatives from the Cleveland Indians will join Dominican Republic government officials and community leaders to formally introduce a brand new, state-of-the-art Cleveland Indians Baseball Academy in San Antonio de Guerra. Located just east of Santo Domingo and less than ten miles from Las Américas International Airport, the Tribe’s complex becomes one of Major League Baseball’s most proximate training facilities to the country’s capital.

Cleveland’s sprawling 22-acre campus strengthens a relationship between the Cleveland Indians and the Dominican Republic that dates back to the club’s first Dominican Summer League team in the 1980s, while also reflecting the organization’s modern day holistic approach to player development. The academy was built to accommodate over 120 players, coaches and staff members, including fully furnished dormitory housing for up to 88 athletes who are supported by a comprehensive array of amenities that promote world-class nutrition, high performance and mental skills training, strength and conditioning, medical services and recovery, and safety.

The recently completed project represents a capital investment of more than $10M USD into the Dominican Republic’s economy, creating roughly 200 jobs throughout the construction process, which began in September of 2016. Cleveland’s Dominican academy will be operational year-round and supported by approximately 25 full-time staff members onsite.

“We are truly honored by the opportunity to further enhance our relationships with the people and rich culture of the Dominican Republic,” said Paul Dolan, Owner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “From Bartolo Colon and Manny Ramírez to Jose Ramírez and Carlos Santana, this proud country is responsible for some of the most iconic and memorable players in Cleveland Indians history and we look forward to providing more young athletes with the resources and tools necessary to succeed both in baseball and in life.”

The Indians prioritized education as a central theme of the design process, as the new academy was built to support the club’s goals of encouraging athletes to become life-long learners in pursuit of secondary and higher education, while also enhancing communication between Native and Non-native English Speakers throughout the organization. Cleveland’s new academy is equipped to operate up to five classrooms simultaneously, leveraging high-speed WiFi, smart projectors and a 35-computer lab to provide students with a 21st century learning experience. These efforts to create a path to a high school diploma for international players will culminate with the anticipated graduation of the academy’s first-ever senior class in the winter of 2019-20.

The Cleveland academy’s outdoor baseball instruction infrastructure includes two full-sized playing fields, including one built to mirror the exact outfield dimensions of Progressive Field; one partial-sized instructional field; the first synthetic turf agility field installed at any Major League training facility in the Dominican Republic; and an open-air field house equipped with four oversized batting cages that can be elevated to create the largest covered multi-purpose space of any MLB complex on the island. Indians prospects refuel in the team’s culinary café with the support of a restaurant-quality kitchen staffed by trained chefs and nutritionists who design carefully planned meal options using locally grown, organic ingredients. Cleveland’s expansive strength and conditioning performance center features the latest in sport science and technology, enabling coaches to fully support individualized player programs.

Those scheduled to represent the Cleveland Indians at Tuesday’s ceremony include Paul Dolan, Owner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; John Sherman, Vice Chairman; Brad Grant, Vice President of Baseball Operations - Strategy and Administration; Mike Chernoff, General Manager; Matt Forman, Assistant General Manager; Paul Gillispie, Senior Director of International Scouting; Whitney Kuszmaul, Senior Director of Infrastructure and Operations; James Harris, Director of Player Development; Anthony Medrano, Assistant Field Coordinator; Alex De Moya, Assistant Director of Latin American Scouting and Player Development; and Anna Bolton, Education and Language Coordinator [subject to change].


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Dominican Republic History and Culture

Map of Dominican Republic

The Taino - indigenous inhabitants of Hispaniola prior to the arrival of the Europeans - divided the island into five chiefdoms and territories. Christopher Columbus explored and claimed the island on his first voyage in 1492; it became a springboard for Spanish conquest of the Caribbean and the American mainland.

In 1697, Spain recognized French dominion over the western third of the island, which in 1804 became Haiti. The remainder of the island, by then known as Santo Domingo, sought to gain its own independence in 1821 but was conquered and ruled by the Haitians for 22 years; it finally attained independence as the Dominican Republic in 1844. In 1861, the Dominicans voluntarily returned to the Spanish Empire, but two years later they launched a war that restored independence in 1865.

A legacy of unsettled, mostly non-representative rule followed, capped by the dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas TRUJILLO from 1930 to 1961. Juan BOSCH was elected president in 1962 but was deposed in a military coup in 1963. In 1965, the US led an intervention in the midst of a civil war sparked by an uprising to restore BOSCH. In 1966, Joaquin BALAGUER defeated BOSCH in the presidential election. BALAGUER maintained a tight grip on power for most of the next 30 years when international reaction to flawed elections forced him to curtail his term in 1996.

Since then, regular competitive elections have been held in which opposition candidates have won the presidency. Former President Leonel FERNANDEZ Reyna (first term 1996-2000) won election to a new term in 2004 following a constitutional amendment allowing presidents to serve more than one term, and was later reelected to a second consecutive term. In 2012, Danilo MEDINA Sanchez became president; he was reelected in 2016.

(From the CIA World Factbook)

Map of Dominican Republic


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