New Pride, Old Prejudice
North American Society for the Sociology of Sport's Outstanding Book Award
Narrated by Don Bratschie
Approximately 7.5 hours
Book published by Temple University Press
Pedro Martínez. Sammy Sosa. Manny Ramírez. By 2000, Dominican baseball players were in every Major League clubhouse, and regularly winning every baseball award. In 2002, Omar Minaya became the first Dominican general manager of a Major League team. But how did this codependent relationship between MLB and Dominican talent arise and thrive?
In his incisive and engaging book, Dominican Baseball, Alan Klein examines the history of MLB's presence and influence in the Dominican Republic, the development of the booming industry and academies, and the dependence on Dominican player developers, known as buscones. He also addresses issues of identity fraud and the use of performance-enhancing drugs as hopefuls seek to play professionally.
Dominican Baseball charts the trajectory of the economic flows of this transnational exchange, and the pride Dominicans feel in their growing influence in the sport. Klein also uncovers the prejudice that prompts MLB to diminish Dominican claims on legitimacy. This sharp, smartly argued book deftly chronicles the uneasy and often contested relations of the contemporary Dominican game and industry.
Alan Klein is a Professor of Sociology-Anthropology at Northeastern University. He is the author of Sugarball: The American Game, the Dominican Dream; Growing the Game: The Globalization of Major League Baseball; and Baseball on the Border: A Tale of Two Laredos.
“Alan Kleinís Dominican Baseball demands a place on your shelf next to your Bill James guides, Ball Four, and Boys of Summer. In other words it is indispensable.”
—Dave Zirin, Sports Editor at The Nation and author of Brazilís Dance with the Devil: The World Cup, the Olympics, and the Struggle for Democracy
“Alan Klein is a brilliant scholar of sport whose work on the academies, baseball commodity chains, and buscones surpasses all other studies. Laying bare how global capitalism has affected the nature of sport, Dominican Baseball tackles not only serious ethical, political, and economic issues but also the managerial responses these issues have raised. Alan Kleinís provocative book will change how people look at baseball and the Dominican Republic as it raises more far-reaching comprehensive and theoretical questions about sport around the world.”
—Rob Ruck, Professor of Transnational Sport History in the Department of History at the University of Pittsburgh
“Once again, Klein contributes to our understanding of baseball's expanded territorial appeal, this time through an exploration of Dominican ballplayers, leagues, and agents.... Klein's discussion of youth amateurs, buscones (trainers), and baseball academies is smartly and fairly delivered. So, too, are the nuanced biographical treatments of figures ranging from Enrique Soto, the buscon credited with discovering Miguel Tejada, to former MLB pitcher Ramon Martinez, who has established his own well-regarded baseball academy, and Astin Jacobo Jr., a public representative for independent player developers.... VERDICT A significant study that provides both a micro- and macroexplication of baseball's impact on the Dominican Republic and the island nation's impact on the sport.”
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