MIAMI, FL– Yesterday’s game between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic was the most popular game of Group D of the World Baseball Classic. The attendance of 36,025 was the largest of any of the games in Group D with a momentum that was building up as the game to watch. Both teams had a record of two wins and one loss. Therefore, with Venezuela already clinching the first spot to enter the next round with a perfect record of 4–0, making this a win-or-go-home elimination game.
The bragging rights were seen and felt throughout Miami, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. The most popular shirts and hats seen throughout the streets of Miami were from both these countries. Social media was buzzing with postings of both Dominican and Puerto Rican fans chiding each other as to who was going to win. The fact was that on paper the Dominican Republic had the stronger team and FanDuel Sportsbook had the Dominican Republic as the heavy favorite to beat Puerto Rico, but none of that mattered as history has proven on more than one occasion, that what’s on paper and what’s on the field are two different things. Puerto Rico’s “Team Rubio” upset the Dominican team 5-2.
What’s also not on paper is the history that these two countries have with each other. Very few know that the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Cuba have a bond that dates back centuries. Because of their proximity and being part of the Greater Antilles, these countries shared much more than a common language. It was very common to have a parent born in on one island, the other in another island and the child in the third island. Former New York Yankee catcher Jorge Posada, who was born in Puerto Rico is an example. His father is Cuban, and his mother, Dominican.
That same cycle between these three islands occurred so much that the great leaders of the 19th century from each Island had organized to create one country called, La Confederation Antillana (The Antillean confederation). They had their name; they had a constitution, and they had a flag. Unfortunately, just before they could be acknowledged as such from their former colonizer, Spain, the U.S. started a war with Spain that did not last more than a few months and that was the end of the formation of a new country made up of the three Antillean islands. However, that bond between these three islands is still very strong and no matter how much they compete against each other, no matter how strong and loud the rivalry is, these countries have a stronger bond as sister islands.
We saw that yesterday in the celebration for Puerto Rico’s victory. The streets outside the stadium had thousands of fans were celebrating Puerto Rico’s victory, but it was not just Puerto Rican’s celebrating, so were their Dominican brothers and sisters. They both were dancing, singing, and drinking that any outsider would not know who won and who lost based on how everyone was carrying and partying.
— Latino Sports (@LatinoSports) March 15, 2023
So, the bottom line is that everyone celebrating was happy that it was one of these two countries that will advance, in this case Puerto Rico.
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