APRIL: THE BASEBALL GURU ARTICLE FROM
RICO CARTY WAS A RAW BONED, GANGLING YOUNGSTER WHEN HE CAME UP TO THE MAJOR LEAGUES FROM SAN PEDRO DE MACORIS.
He spoke very little English
and signed professional contracts with ten different clubs before the
Carty was not the first player to come from San Pedro but his success triggered off a spark in that area that is still being felt there. Everywhere you go in San Pedro there are references to Rico Carty. Streets are named after him, stores carry his name, restaurants sell dishes that are said to be his favorite, and parents name their babies, Rico in honor of him. There is Rico Carty clothing, newspapers carry stories that feature him, and if he ever decided to run for Mayor he would win in a landslide!
Perhaps Cartys greatest legacy to San Pedro is the fact that because of his influence this tiny island has given baseball the greatest influx of Major League players in recent years that any area has produced. As of now there are 36 ballplayers who are playing Major League ball who are from San Pedro De Macoris. There are 89 more who are in the Minors. All told there have been over 136 players who have at one time or another hailed from that area and ended up as Major Leaguers. In the history of the game that is near the top and will probably be number one in a short time.
No one knows why this is so .it cant all be Rico Carty ..but then again .
San Pedro De
Macoris lies in the eastern region of the
The Macoris, Socco, and Iguana rivers irrigate the land. sugar cane, proud and majestic looking, grow in plentiful abundance on its farms.
At one time Macoris was called the city of the Danza de Los Milliones (Dance of the Millions) because of the wealth that the sugar canes brought. Booming sugar mills refined the cane and sent it to the markets all over the world. But that was in the 1920s. Now something else has made this hot, tiny island well known, that is in baseball circles, and thats our story.
San Pedro was born during the
Haitian coup of 1822. Some Dominicans took refuge from foreign domination
by coming to the
Parents get their kids out onto the ball field at an early age and from then on they are surrounded by the game. Everywhere they go they are engulfed by pictures of Rico Carty and George Bell and Julio Franco and Pedro Guerrero and of course stories are told of the enormous amount of money you can make in playing the game. The local heroes come back with their sleek cars and their beautiful suits and they work with the kids and tell them about life in the big leagues.
The supply of talent seems endless and San Pedro no longer talks about its sugar cane or its Borino cattle, or its plantain and banana plantations. They talk about Mariano Duncan and Domingo Jean and Juan Bell and Rafael Ramirez, and Jose Lind, and Sammy Sosa and they hold their heads up high and know that nobody does it better than they have, and you know what .it wont stop.