Rosecrans: Where baseball starts: 72 hours at the Reds’ Dominican Republic complex

From C. Trent Rosecrans at The Athletic on September 4, 2018:

Even from an airplane, a baseball​ diamond​ is distinguishable from​ anything else​ on the ground.

At​ its​ most​​ simple, the separation from outfield to infield is a dead giveaway – whether it’s an all-dirt infield, cutouts in the bases or the standard grass infield – that baseball is played below.

I’ve done this since I was a kid – look out the window and try to spot baseball fields. No matter where I was, no matter where I was going, there was a familiarity, a comfort in seeing a baseball field, a place I spent much of my time.

When there was something besides water outside my window of Delta flight 686 on a recent Sunday, I looked down at the island I was visiting for the first time and saw the reason I was there: those diamonds. There were lone fields in the middle of farmland, stadiums for professional games and clusters of multiple fields together, even one with a half-field, a telltale sign of a professional complex.

All 30 Major League teams have academies in the Dominican Republic and nearly half are in Boca Chica, a beach town close to the Santo Domingo airport, including the Reds.

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Originally published: September 7, 2018. Last Updated: September 7, 2018.