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DR and MLB to make it harder for foreign ballplayers to audition for scouts

The combination of abundant native talent that can be evaluated periodically over short distances, the operation of 30 baseball academies in the country run by Major League Baseball teams and the existence of an office of Major League Baseball (MLB) in Santo Domingo, makes the Dominican Republic a continental hub for recruiting and developing young baseball players. All this, plus being a few hours from most MLB offices in the United States poses a tantalizing option for young ballplayers and their caretakers to make their way to the Dominican Republic for tryouts.

However, these competitive advantages have also triggered an uncontrolled flow of teenagers coming to the Dominican Republic from all around the Americas. The youngsters, who come in pursuit of their dream of making it to the Major Leagues, often find themselves victims of abuses, which MLB and the Dominican Migration Agency wish to put a stop to.

It appears that the group that set off the alarm is from Venezuela. Hundreds of Venezuelans have migrated to the country, spurred by the current political turmoil in their native country. Among these, dozens have come given the difficulties that Major League Baseball teams have traveling to Venezuela to recruit ballplayers. These factors have led to an unprecedented influx of Venezuelan teenagers into the Dominican Republic.

Cuban ballplayers, who encounter obstacles in their home country to sign with MLB teams, have also immigrated to the Dominican Republic, many times without parental permission.

On Tuesday, the Migration Agency enacted a set of instructions that will regulate the entry and permanence in this country of foreigners who are pursuing careers in baseball. Now prospects interested in exhibiting their talents or training in the country will have to obtain a different sort of visa, called the NM (multiple business) that can be granted by the Ministry of Foreign Relations if the applicant has a valid passport (at least six months from expiring), a return ticket, and an address where he will be staying in the country. If the ballplayers are minors, they must present an authorization signed by either parents or legal guardians.

Source: DR1, DiarioLibre

Aug 3, 2017

Category: DR News |

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Last updated December 17, 2017 at 1:23 AM
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