On Opening Day 2017, nearly 11 percent of all major league players were born in the Dominican Republic, a country with a population only slightly larger than New York City, and with the same gross domestic product as Idaho. Why is baseball so popular in the Dominican? It's in the blood. La sangre.
Ever since Cubans brought baseball into the Dominican in the late 1800s, Dominicans have had an unrivaled passion for the game. It's beloved by the rich and poor, the young and old. It is truly the national pastime.
In this documentary, VICE Sports visits San Pedro de Macoris, a small city in the eastern part of the country known for producing some of the best major league infielders of all time. Our guide is Robinson Cano, the Seattle Mariners' star second baseman, who along with his father Jose, is trying to ensure that kids continue to have a chance at the majors in his beloved hometown of San Pedro.