Republic of Baseball, Dominican Republic | New York Times
POYi 2017 | Communication Arts 2017 | New York Times Feature 2016 | The Fence 2016
No other nation on Earth outside the US produces as many professional baseball players as the tiny Caribbean island. For millions of young boys in the Dominican Republic, baseball is not only a ticket, often times it's the only ticket, out of poverty. The Republic of Baseball is a long-term look at the culture in the Dominican Republic and how the American pastime has changed adolescence for much of the country's youth.
This is the last time Raymel Flores washes dishes behind his home in their only kitchen. He grew up in this house with his brothers and mother, all sharing one bedroom under a tin roof. In the following week, Raymel will sign a professional baseball contract with the Boston Red Sox worth almost a million dollars. He will begin is journey to the big leagues.
Raymel bought a new car and his mom a new house in the city with 2 kitchens and 3 bedrooms. Raymel is one of the lucky ones. He's already changed the trajectory of his and his family's future.