After much planning and effort, a youth baseball team from the Mayi Baseball Academy’s league visited Rochester this past summer. The team represented the town of Sanchez Altagracia de Herrera in the Dominican Republic. They arrived Aug. 18, 2012, and stayed about two weeks.
We spent about a year planning for this historic event under the direction of the Rochester Hispanic Youth Baseball League (RHYBL) and our Dominican counterparts. But on the eve of our visitors’ visit on the chosen date, the group had to overcome several obstacles and finally were allowed to travel from Puerto Rico to Florida to New York. RHYBL then had to take the lead in making the necessary arrangements, with the help of other organizations, to provide transportation from New York City to Rochester. We must recognize the support from Ibero-American Action League and the Hermandad Dominicana. Following a welcoming breakfast Aug. 18 with players and host families, we held an opening ceremony at Our Lady of the Americas to welcome coach Miguel Martínez Brito from the Mayi Baseball Academy League and his 15 players. RHYBL’s board members, coaches, players and families served as hosts along with José Cruz from the Rochester City School Board.
During the next few days, the Rochester teams played against the Dominican team in eight games. They also took the opportunity to visit Cleveland, Ohio, where they faced off against the Roberto Clemente Sports Club. Other activities offered by RHYBL volunteers included a visit to Niagara Falls, a Rochester Red Wings game, bowling, a picnic at Ontario Beach Park and other activities arranged by the host families.
This cultural exchange not only had a tremendous impact on the players from both countries, but it had a positive effect on the community and their families. They were all part of a baseball event on an international scale that took place for the first time in our city.
We would like to thank all the volunteers, families and sponsors that made this dream a reality. We also thank those who helped with transportation, sponsored dinners for the players as well as those who provided gifts for them.
I plan to keep working with the visiting team on similar projects and have an RHYBL team represent our city and the league on Dominican soil.
President, Rochester Hispanic Youth Baseball League