HANOVER, N.H. — With a departure date of Thanksgiving Day, the Dartmouth baseball team will embark on a 10-day trip to the Dominican Republic to play eight games against Dominican professional academies and participate in a community service event in Boca Chica. This is the second trek for the Big Green baseball program to the Dominican Republic with the first one taking place in the fall of 2008.
The Big Green will play eight games against four professional academies with four games against the Mets, two versus the Pirates, and one each with the Padres and Red Sox. The entire squad will get an opportunity to hone their skills against the advanced competition each of the academy teams brings to the diamond.
Four years ago, Dartmouth took an eight-day tour of the Dominican Republic in mid-December. But with the shift in the academic calendar that moved the fall term final exams prior to Thanksgiving, head coach Bob Whalen has the opportunity to extend the trip by two days and include a community service project in Boca Chica set up by John Seibel of ENTRENA an organization that works with Major League Baseball.
The trip has been largely funded through a private donation. The NCAA allows each varsity team to travel internationally once every four years, and Ivy League rules prohibit the use of institutional budget funds for this purpose.
"I really believe this trip has a huge impact on our team, and hopefully on our season, if for no other reason we get to see the team play eight more times," Whalen said. "We've been fortunate to have a donor that allows us to take this trip. And with some of our Dartmouth connections and our friends, most notably Sandy Alderson '69 with the Mets and Kevan Graves '03 with the Pirates, they’ve been able to help us string some things together and give us this opportunity."
In addition, the voice of Dartmouth baseball and a catcher on the 1970 Big Green team that advanced to the College World Series, Wayne Young '72, will be traveling with the team and providing blog updates on Dartmouth's official athletics website, DartmouthSports.com. The first entry will be available on the team page for baseball starting on the evening of Friday, Nov. 23.