By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: We'll be vacationing in the Dominican Republic in Punta Cana November 10-17. Is it possible to see professional baseball here? We'll be staying at the Riu Palace Macoa Resort.

A: Pedro Martinez, Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, some of the biggest names in baseball today, all have one thing in common. They all hail from the Dominican Republic.

First introduced to the Caribbean in 1866 on the island of Cuba by American sailors who were there to load sugar, baseball later caught on to the Dominican Republic. The mighty tradition of baseball continues to hit a grand slam here.

Known as "Beisbol," baseball is not only a sport here but it is a national obsession. Since you'll soon be at this sunny Caribbean destination, catching a game in action is a sure way to quickly familiarize yourself with the culture.

Writer Dan Gordon in his essay, Winter League Escapades, recalls when he attended a baseball game in La Romana, "the people knew one another, partook in shared traditions, felt connected to the community and felt a sense of belonging to something greater than themselves." Gordon found the atmosphere stimulating and deeply relaxing. You're in luck.

A representative from the Dominican Republic Tourism Office informed me that baseball action is scheduled at the Estadio Francisco A. Michely Stadium on November 13 at 8:00pm and November 16 at 8:00pm in nearby La Romana. The best bet is to check at your hotel's reception for further game details.

For more travel-related information to the Dominican Republic, contact the Dominican Republic Tourism Office at 1-800-563-1611.


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