This Friday marks the eighth anniversary of the great feat of the Dominicans, after their undefeated conquest of the World Baseball Classic.
This outcome gave rise to a huge celebration in all corners of the nation, which, despite the years, many savor and remember, as the event deserves it.
An undefeated record of 8-0 registered in all the stops strengthened the expressions of a Galician man at the time, who in a television commercial that was made for the occasion expressed: “They are the best”, referring to the Dominican team that in its sweeping step left the powerful teams of the United States and Venezuela, as well as a Puerto Rican team that only found in the Dominicans the famous “pebble in the shoe”.
Ah, with this brilliant achievement they had left behind the bitter taste received four years earlier when, the Quisqueyanos packed their bags early, after being defeated twice by the Netherlands in the first round.
The 2013 team was a joint effort that had the Dominican Baseball Federation at the forefront, manager Tony Peña, general manager Moisés Alou and with them a group of brave players, who from the first training camp threw themselves into the field with hunger, gallantry and camaraderie in search of erasing the fateful performance of 2009.
The long-awaited revenge against the Netherlands Antilles, the executioner of the Dominicans in the 2009 World Classic, also took place, as the Dominicans, with the timely batting of José Reyes, Edwin Encarnación and Moisés Sierra, in addition to the starting pitching of Edinson Vólquez and the efficient performance of the relievers, defeated the Dutch 4-1 in a game played on Monday, March 18.
The Dominican people enjoyed each of the 72 complete innings played in the eight games played by the team in the tournament, which is estimated to have been followed by tens of millions of fans around the world. A total of 885,716 people attended the different stadiums, a record attendance for the event.
This event united a nation, all of them supporting the same goal and it became a curfew, where even the most important personalities of the country postponed appointments or in the best of cases did not place them in their agendas during the hours in which the Dominican team was playing.
An achievement that began on the afternoon of March 6 when the Quisqueyanos beat the Philadelphia Phillies 15-2 in an exhibition game and that led star left-hander Cole Hamels to compliment the team as being very strong.
Robinson Canó MVP
Robinson Canó was selected Most Valuable, after batting for . 469 (32-15) with four doubles and two home runs and the performance of José Reyes, Nelson Cruz, Hanley Ramírez, Carlos Santana, Erick Aybar, Alejandro de Aza, Miguel Tejada, Moisés Sierra, in addition to pitchers Fernando Rodney, Pedro Strop, Octavio Dotel, Kelvin Herrera, José Veras, starters Samuel Deduno, Wandy Rodríguez, Edinson Vólquez, Lorenzo Barceló, among others, should be highlighted.
Dominicans Edwin Encarnación, starter; Canó, middle infielder; José Reyes, shortstop; Nelson Cruz, outfielder were included in the All-Star team.
World Classic Matches
The Dominicans had to start the day against a very strong team, Venezuela, but the result began to leave a pleasant taste among players and thousands of fans from all over the world, who knew that the confrontation would not be easy. A resounding 9-3 victory began to provide a great foreshadowing of what was to come in the days to come.
Wins against Puerto Rico and Spain gave the Quiqueyans their undefeated qualification.
The second round did not start positively for the Dominican Republic, as Italy took a 4-0 lead against an out of control Edinson Volquez and it seemed that another surprise would happen, however, the Quisqueyanos recovered and a single by Nelson Cruz made them win the game 5-4. Victories against the United States (3-1) and Puerto Rico (2-0) gave them their second advance to the semifinals.
In the semifinals, they faced the Netherlands, the team that had beaten them twice in the first round of the 2009 tournament, but the Dominicans were unable to overcome the Netherlands.