Baseball Stadiums of the Winter Leagues
Baseball season in the North America may be over, but elsewhere it is just starting. The Winter Baseball League in the Caribbean starts this Friday with the Series final in Valencia sometime around mid January. For years this has been a solid league that has been used by MLB clubs to assist in honing players talents for the following season.
(To the left is Mayaguez Stadium in PR.)
During the past few months I have seen 22 baseball stadiums in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Venezuela and will complete my duties this month in Mexico for MLB evaluating the parks, fields etc. with my trusty partner Moises Rodriguez, MLB’s Latin American League coordinator!
(The stadium to the left is in Santiago, DR. Great location and cool park.)
Many of the the stadiums remind me of the early minor league parks from back in the 70’s. Some range in capacity 6000 seat La Romona Stadium, DR to the 25000 seat stadium in Caracas, Venezuela. Recently, you read the story where White Sox manager Ozzie Guillian circled the field of his hometown in Venezuela with the 2005 World Series trophy. What a sight that was!
Carolina Stadium and Mayaguez Stadium in Puerto Rico. Valencia, Puerto La Cruz and Caracas in Venezuela and in the Dominican Republic you have a couple of unique ones in Santiago, Santo Domingo and San Francisco. This is really good baseball with current MLB players playing for many of the teams.
Carolina is a relatively new park in the Carribean with an AstroTurf field. Most fields are natural turf. Only 3 out of the 22 I have seen are synthetic. Ticket prices are very inexpensive and if you have never been to a game in the Caribbean you need to prepare yourself. The people are passionate about the game cheering, horns blowing, drums pounding and mas cervesa flowing…nonstop through the entire game!!!!