New York.- The Dominican Republic Sports & Education Academy’s second annual “Making A Difference In The Dominican Republic” event on June 29 will include an in depth discussion on Dominican baseball. The fundraiser, at 6pm at the 809 Club, 112 Dyckman Street, New York, NY, is co-hosted by the Juan Pablo Duarte Foundation, the New York Dominican Officers Organization, and Dominicans on Wall Street.
Panelists include Lou Melendez, Senior Advisor to the International Baseball Operations Department in the Office of the Commissioner for Major League Baseball, who will receive a special tribute at the event; he is retiring after 29 years with the league. Also on the panel are Charles S. Farrell, co-founder of the DRSEA, and Julio Pabon, Founder of Latino Sports Writers & Broadcasters Association. Additional panelists will be added.
“Baseball in the Dominican Republic is going through a tremendous evolution, particularly with the prospect of an international draft,” said Harold Mendez, chairman of the board and co-founder of the DRSEA, who will moderate the discussion. “Lou Melendez has had a tremendous influence on those developments; the entire panel has expertise not usually accessible in one setting.”
The mission of the DRSEA is to educate young and gifted student athletes in the Dominican Republic, help develop their baseball skills, and give them the tools to success in life on and off the field. Through a rigorous educational component, the DRSEA will prepare young boys to have the opportunity for scholarships at U.S. colleges and universities.
“The discussion of an international draft is yet another issue that directly affects the future of baseball in the Dominican Republic,” said Farrell. “Baseball spends upwards of $125 million annually on developing Dominican prospects, but we believe there is an incumbent social responsibility, including providing educational opportunities since only two out of 100 prospects has even a remote chance of success playing baseball.”