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The Dominican Republic’s 5 Biggest Baseball Stars: World: Latin Post

Brazil is known for treating football like a religion, but its baseball counterpart might be the Dominican Republic, which has produced some of the biggest baseball stars in the world. To say that Dominicans consider baseball a religion may be an understatement, as the country loves the sport.

With one Baseball World Cup under its belt and dozens of Dominicans currently playing in Major League Baseball and in Japan, it’s safe to say that the Dominican Republic is producing baseball stars left and right.

The 5 best baseball players from the Dominican Republic in random order

Players from the Dominican Republic have been playing in the MLB since the 1960s and have certainly made their mark, enough for the league’s teams to regularly tour the country in search of up-and-coming players. Here are five of our picks for the best players from the Dominican Republic, in no particular order:

Juan Marichal – Pitcher

Juan Marichal, one of the first Dominicans to dominate the game, was a pitcher best known for playing for the San Francisco Giants. He was in the MLB from 1960-197 and was a ten-time All-Star, finishing his career with a 243-142 ERA and a 2.89 ERA.

He is also the first player born in the Dominican Republic to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and is now considered one of the greatest pitchers of his era, still loved by fans in the US and in the Dominican Republic itself, according to De Sportbrief.

READ MORE: Wander Franco request rejected by Dominican Republic judge in sexual abuse case

Ozzie Virgil Sr. – 3rd Base

It’s safe to say that without Ozzie Virgil Sr. would not have any Dominican players today. According to USA Today, he was the first Dominican-born player in MLB history. He played for several teams, including the Pittsburg Pirates and the then New York Giants, but is largely considered a pioneer and opened doors for many others from Latin America to enter the MLB.

Sammy Sosa – Outfielder

Sammy Sosa was a hitting machine and played for several teams such as the Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs and Baltimore Orioles. He won the National League MVP award in 1998 and also became a seven-time All-Star. He also won six Silver Slugger awards and is remembered for his rivalry with fellow slugger Mark McGwire during the 1998 season.

David Ortiz – Designated hitter

Of course, without Big Papi, it wouldn’t be a “Greatest Dominican Players” list, right? The great Dominican slugger was instrumental in creating the Red Sox dynasty and ending the dreaded “Curse of the Bambino” when he finally brought the MLB title to Boston after an 86-year drought. He is also an icon at home in the DR!

Pedro Martinez – Pitcher

Boston may be known for its Irish population, but the city certainly loves its Dominicans, as another Dominican great who played for the Red Sox made the list. He won the MLB title for Boston in 2004 with Big Papi and is considered one of the greatest Dominicans to ever play the game.

READ MORE: Dominican Republic: This Caribbean country simply loves baseball

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Written by: Rick Martin

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