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Dominican Republic: Baseball Dreams
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In the Dominican Republic every boy dreams of being signed to a US Major League baseball team. The sport’s a national obsession and is also the only route out of poverty – unless you’re a drug dealer. But the American scouts want young players (you’re too old at 18), so there’s only a brief opportunity to make it into the big time and little alternative if you don’t.
Patterson Segura, a likeable and talented 16-year-old, has had several offers but his coach (who gets a 25 per cent cut) wants more money for him. The coach is either a brilliant tactician, says reporter Seyi Rhodes… he leaves us to add, “or he’s greedy”.
Seyi Rhodes travels to the Dominican Republic to meet teenage boys desperate to become players in US professional baseball. In a country where many are still very poor, the sport is one of the few routes out for young men - but the chances of making it are slim and the cost of failure at 18 can be devastating.
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