Sunday, June 27, 2010

The New York Mets' DR Academy

By Aileen Berran (SMBA '11)

While on our trip to the Dominican Republic, we were fortunate to visit many Major League Baseball facilities, including the Padres, Pirates, and Mets' Academies. As it is well known by anyone that meets me, I have been a lifelong Met fan. Therefore, one of the highlights of my trip was being able to visit the Mets' facility in Boca Chica.

While at the facility we got a tour of the facilities, which included the administrative office, the dorms, the locker room, the training room, the gym, and the recreational room. We received information on the organizational structure of the Mets and how the Dominican Academy fits, as it is the low-A for international talent. When we walked in to the office there were two large pictures of Jenrry Mejia and Ruben Tejada, who have both seen some time on the Mets' Major League roster this season. These pictures serve as motivation for the players currently in the academy, as they were both in their shoes just 3-4 years ago.

We visited on a rainy day, so while visiting the recreational room we were greeted by a few players who were watching Party of Five - big fans! They were kind enough to take a picture with us, including a 6'10" pitcher who throws 94 and his best pitch is a slider - I am looking forward to seeing him in Queens sometime in the near future. It was great to see this side of the farm system as the dream for most of these athletes is to just make it to the States, and with proper support from the Major League teams there is a chance for that to happen.

We walked away with some more knowledge on how the Dominican Academy fits in to the Major League organization and some nice Mets' Baseball t-shirts that were provided by Freddy - a very kind coach that some of us befriended.

After our visit to the Academy we visited a medical clinic that the Mets support. This clinic provides HIV/AIDS testing and medication for those in need in the community. It was good to see that it is not all about baseball in the DR, as there are others that need support. I would like to thank the Mets Organization for making me proud, as many of my classmates told me that they walked away with a new found respect for both baseball and the Mets organization.

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