The Tropic of Baseball


The Tropic of Baseball

Baseball in the Dominican Republic

Rob Ruck

217 pages
Illus., maps


February 1999


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April 2014


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About the Book

In a new afterword Rob Ruck looks at the current state of baseball in the country that has produced Sammy Sosa and many other major league stars.

Author Bio

Rob Ruck teaches history at the University of Pittsburgh and is the author of Sandlot Seasons: Sport in Black Pittsburgh and other books. He was project director for the film Kings on the Hill, an Emmy-winning documentary on Negro League baseball.


"In the Dominican Republic . . . baseball reigns supreme. San Pedro de Macorís, on the island’s southeast coast, has produced more major league ballplayers per capita than any other town in the world. According to former big leaguer Pedro Gonzalez, ‘Every boy grows up with a bat and a ball—it’s the first present a male baby gets in his crib.’ . . . Ruck offers not only the flavor of Dominican baseball but a spirited and carefully crafted account of the past and present of this complicated game. . . . A rarity in sports history."—Journal of American History

"Fans should want to know why such a little Caribbean island has so much baseball talent. . . . On this literally dirt-poor island, baseball is the Dream, the Salvation, the stabilizing societal force. . . . Baseball is all there is."—Baseball America

"Impressive . . . captures the spirit of the sport as it is played in the Dominican Republic."—Journal of Sport History

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