On a possible expansion in Lidom

In order for the Professional Baseball League of the Dominican Republic (Lidom) to begin to develop from 1955, the beginning of night baseball, it was necessary to build the stadiums that exist today in Santo Domingo (the Quisqueya Juan Marichal, inaugurated in 1955). , Santiago (the Cibao in 1958) and San Pedro de Macorís (the Tetelo Vargas in 1959), all with other names in those years of the tyranny.

In the same way, so that from 1975 the former Cibao Summer League could be developed (unfortunately disappeared some 11 or 12 years later), the highest level that has existed in our country after Lidom, the emergence of the stadiums of La Vega (the Olympic in 1975), San Francisco de Macorís (the Julián Javier in 1976, which today is home to the Gigantes del Cibao) and Puerto Plata (the José Briceño in 1978).

The construction of the La Romana stadium (today’s Francisco Micheli) in the late 1970s was the basis for pursuing the current Toros del Este franchise. To give birth to the Giants of the Northeast (today “of the Cibao”) it was necessary to repair the Julián Javier park in 1996.

Currently, it is known about a new interest (it had already existed before) in Puerto Plata for having a team in Lidom. In order to claim and sustain a franchise in this entity, it is essential, among other things, the existence of an adequate stadium, with the demands of MLB, either with the reconstruction by the Dominican State of José Briceño or with the construction of a new park in elsewhere, the latter with local private investment or with the participation of foreign investors.

The truth is that, just as it was in the summer of those years 70-80 (we lived that experience), Puerto Plata is a magnificent place for a professional baseball team, now with a much larger population and economic growth, both in the province as in its surroundings.

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In 2021 we refer to a new favorable scenario that will be presented in the Lidom with the possibility that more than 100 young players (it could even reach about 150) remain free agents in the rookie draw in September this year.

However, despite all of the above, there are many things to specify. For example, compliance with the requirements demanded by Lidom (which must be reasonable and adequate, not exaggerated) and whether a new expansion would be bringing the entity to 7 or 8 teams. We already know that between the 80s and 90s, 8 championships were played with 5 teams.

With this issue, the hackneyed “feasibility study” always comes up, which did not exist when the traumatic expansion imposed by law in 1983 (which is not possible today, because in 2005 a sentence of the Supreme Court of Justice declared unconstitutional the power of the National Congress to impose partners on a private entity, in this case Lidom), still with negative effects.

We do not know if they are visualizing it, but the current Cibao teams need to join interests so that this potential expansion, whether with 7 or 8 teams, occurs in their region. And I hope they do it in time. We understand that this looks utopian, just like in the 70s, but the future will prevail, sooner or later.

The occasion is propitious to reiterate our thesis that the best future for autumn-winter baseball is in the summer, that is, in the return of a summer league as it existed in the Cibao between the 70s and 80s, but we return to the point initial, proper stadiums are needed…..and baseball visionaries.

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