FIBS president Andrea Marcon met with Dominican ambassador Peggy Cabral at the Dominican Republic Embassy in Rome and signed a cooperative agreement to foster the development and training of Italian and Dominican baseball players in both countries on November 29, 2018. With a scheduled visit by Dominican Republic Baseball Federation president Hector Pereyra to Italy next month, it appears this Caribbean baseball powerhouse nation is making strides in building working relationships abroad based on the announcement that the Dominican Professional Baseball League had joined the World Baseball Softball Confederation on October 9, 2018.
FIBS president Andrea Marcon has been invited to the 2019 Dominican Republic press conference and signing ceremony to celebrate the agreement which paves the way for more cooperative opportunities and baseball competitions between the two countries. Dominican ambassador Peggy Cabral said, "This is a very important agreement, and we are very happy to be the first country to sign this type of agreement with FIBS." She was especially interested in Italy's baseball for the blind program and hoped the agreement would facilitate greater access to the game for the those with disabilities.
Over the years, Dominican and Italian players have played side-by-side in the Italian Baseball League. When the Chicago Cubs signed the Dominican-born Serie A1 Bologna and Team Italy slugger Robel Garcia to a minor league contract recently, it validated the importance of the Dominican / Italian baseball connection. With the cooperative efforts of two countries over 5,000 miles apart, athletes from the Dominican Republic and Italy will benefit greatly. The Italians have a lot to gain from this new agreement as both the weather and the level of competition in the Dominican Republic is much better than that found in Europe. Since all 30 Major League Baseball affiliates operate their own academies on the island, Italian players will be able to step up their game and experience all the pro ball amenities the Dominican Republic offers. Team Italy supporters remember when the Azzurri squad nearly upset the Dominican Republic in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. The Italians tipped off their talent then and are now stronger than ever. With the newly-signed agreement in place between the two nations, Team Italy looks forward to the opportunity to make amends. Forza #Italia! #LetsMakeItHappen
by Roberto Angotti