Baseball in the Dominican Republic has become a national passion, with the number of young players practicing baseball increasing every year. An enormous number of young Dominican men aspire to become professional baseball players. Many of them will abandon their educations and drop out of school in order to pursue a chance at a baseball career that is very unlikely. Often, they take this risk because they believe that a baseball career is their own way to escape poverty. But through I Love Baseball, you can help ensure that these young men can engage their passion for baseball while staying focused on their educational goals.
I Love Baseball meets young men where they are at and offers the rare opportunity to provide a community for the pursuit of baseball while also completing their high school degree. Along the way, these young men are also mentored by staff and given the opportunity to develop their faith so they can start to create lasting change in their families, communities, and nation.
I Love Baseball has been a part of Children of the Nations since 2008 and has grown to serving 50 children (as of June 2023). There are eight dedicated I Love Baseball staff members with 47 combined years of service in I Love Baseball between all of them.
You can also partner alongside I Love Baseball staff in the Dominican Republic on a Venture Trip! If you are a professional in the field, you can take your experience and knowledge to work alongside our trainers and children. Spanish speakers are highly recommended to join us for a short-term trip. Learn more about joining a Venture Team today!
When Salomón was growing up, his only hope of breaking out of poverty was the slim chance he could make it as a professional baseball pitcher. His family had just enough money to feed themselves and buy basic supplies
“[I Love Baseball] interested me a lot because in it I could see an opportunity to be able to progress more as a baseball player and also I could advance in school,” Salomón says.
Even though his dream of signing a baseball contract with a major league team didn’t come true, he started to form a new dream. A dream of becoming a doctor.
He ended up staying in school and worked hard to graduate from medical school with flying colors.
“I feel overjoyed to have realized my dream,” he says, “Not only of being a doctor but also of being a member of the Children of the Nations family.”
Today, he is a doctor and just served three and a half years with Children of the Nations as the community doctor where he worked closely on prevention, outreach, and teaching children about health in the communities. Because of his dedication and ILB, Salomón had the tools, education, and skills he needed to not only transform his own future, but also his community.
The local leaders and staff in the Dominican Republic have expressed that issues facing young men and families are a lack of education and mentorship focused on strong personal values and learning. I Love Baseball is a unique program where vulnerable youth can pursue their dream of playing professional baseball while still getting an education, living a balanced life, building strong moral character, and growing mentally, physically, and spiritually. Because of I Love Baseball, young men have graduated high school and gone on to pursue higher education and careers, ultimately making a difference in their communities. Follow along and see amazing stories on I Love Baseball’s Twitter and Facebook!