You may have heard a little about the trip some of the Royals prospects took to the Dominican Republic last week. I’m hoping to give you a view of some of the things the Royals minor leaguers did while they were in the DR and some of the things accomplished by this trip. I’m going to start putting out more information on the Royals presence in the Dominican Republic in the coming weeks because I think we need to have an appreciation for what our Latin American players experience in their lives on their journey to the United States.
Fourteen Royals minor league players went on the trip along with 9 staff members, and 4 members of the Royals Charities. Those 14 players were Nick Pratto, MJ Melendez, Chris DeVito, Vance Vizcaino, Khalil Lee, Rudy Martin, Daniel Tillo, Grant Gavin, Walker Sheller, Dillon Drabble, Richard Lovelady, and Emilio Ogando. I saw Jose Veras in one of the YouTube videos but he is from the DR and met up with the team there.
This was a trip that included development as a player, as a teammate, and as a servant leader within a global society. The Royals wanted our American players to get an understanding of what our Latin players go through on their journey to the United States. This in turn will help them have a better sense of how to be a teammate and friend to those Latin players as well as have a better appreciation for the things we have been gifted as an American.
Day One – The Royals left from Miami and arrived in Santa Domingo in the mid-afternoon. They spent the day getting situated in the hotel and had an orientation meeting to help them prepare for the week.
Day Two – The players had a morning workout at the Royals Dominican facility before having lunch. They then traveled to the Colonial Zone for a tour, dinner, and some shopping while intermingling with the locals.
Day Three – The players had a morning workout at the Royals Dominican facility before having a cultural class on the area. They then enjoyed some free time to explore before heading to the Dominican Baseball Museum and then to the Gigantes vs. Licey Dominican Winter League game.
Day Four – The players had an early morning bus to catch to go to Las Terrenas. The Royals Charity held a ceremony and then a camp for the local kids of Yordano Ventura’s hometown. They had lunch and then headed to Yordano’s grave site to pay their respects. They then headed back to the hotel.
Day Five – This was a relaxation day for the players as they went ziplining and played paintball.
Day Six – The players had an early morning workout before heading to the Casa Amor orphanage to spend time with the kids. The players participated in four sessions with the kids that ranged from activities like basketball and soccer to guided reading and games. After being able to build relationships with the kids they held a mid-afternoon pizza party before heading back to the hotel.
Day Seven – The players got their early morning workout in before heading into the community to do more service projects. The mostly painted houses in the Sugar Cane Village royal blue and powder blue. They then headed to Boca Chica for dinner before heading back to the hotel.
Day Eight – The players had their early morning workout and then headed to Boca Marina for lunch and a closing ceremony. Players were asked for feedback and to reflect on their time and the relationships they had built. The evening featured some free time.
Day Nine – It was an early morning flight back to Miami.
The majority of us have done nothing to earn or deserve the freedoms and rights we enjoy as an American citizen. I hope you are able to benefit from these videos and from this trip as you reflect on all the things we take for granted in our lives. The trip is something the Royals would like to do every year as an appreciation to Yordano Ventura and the Dominican Republic.