/ Common App Essay: More Than a Game (baseball)
This is my main essay for the common app, option #6. Im submitting it soon, i'd appreciate any CC.
More than a Game
Baseball is known as America's national pastime. America's major leagues attract the best talent in the world. Major league baseball's finals are known as the "World" Series. Despite all of this, I discovered that the true experience of baseball in the Dominican Republic.
It was a typical Sunday afternoon; my dad and I were driving home from church. I was about 10 years old, but I remember the car ride like it was yesterday.
"Justin, if you could live in a warm country, where would you live?" my Dad asked.
"A place where they love baseball, like the Dominican Republic!" I answered without hesitation. I did not know much about the Dominican, except that many great baseball players were from there.
What a coincidence! A few months later, my parents had an opportunity to travel to the Dominican Republic. They loved it. My father felt a call to open a medical clinic and help underprivileged people, and decided the Dominican would be a great place to do it. Whatever the logic was behind my answer, it proved to be a memorable one, for less than a year later my family and I had moved there.
While attending a Major League game in the US can be an entertaining, there is nothing quite like a Dominican baseball game, because baseball in the DR is as much of a party as it is a game.
I will never forget the first ballgame I attended in the DR. It was late December 2003, and the winter baseball season was in full swing. It was a crucial regular season game between the "Tigres de Licey" and the "Aguilas Cibaeńas", two bitter rivals. The game was being played at the Estadio Olimpico, Licey's home stadium. Regardless of home field advantage, both teams had a large number of fans in attendance.
The atmosphere was electric. The first thing I noticed when entering the stadium is how the majority of the stadium was a sea of blue, with slices of yellow here and there. Blue was the primary color in Licey's uniform; yellow the color of the Aguilas. The stadium was filled with excited chatter, music was blaring out of the loudspeakers and there was even a band playing with makeshift musical instruments. The smell of "platanos" (fried plantain) and fried salami wafted through the aisles. Vendors were everywhere, selling food, drinks, and merchandise. You could hardly hear yourself think, and the game had not yet begun!
After much anticipation, the game began. The crowd roared as the home team Licey ran onto the field and their ace pitcher took the mound. The Aguilas first hitter dug in at the plate, and the pitcher went into his windup. Strike One. The place erupted. All the pitcher had done was throw a strike, yet you would have thought someone had just hit a game-winning homerun.
As the game went on you would guess the noise level would have eventually died down, but it only got louder. Eventually, the makeshift band started to circle the stadium, with a parade of fans following closely behind. It was quite a spectacle. I would have been tempted to participate, had I not a fear of being trampled.
The atmosphere would have upstaged the game itself had it not been such a great contest. The winter league annually attracts some of the best major league talent, many of them Dominican. The players were at the top of their game, and the match was highly competitive. To most of the fans' delight, Licey won the game 5-3. They went on to win the league championship that year and represented the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean World Series.
In the Dominican Republic, baseball is more than just a game. It's a passion to many and way of life to others. For the poor and less privileged, it is a gateway to a better existence, a glimmer of hope in an otherwise desolate situation. Baseball is what brings the country together, but also what tears fans and team loyalists apart. This is what makes baseball great in the Dominican Republic, and what makes going to a game such a special experience.
As a kid who grew up in a country so fixated with the sport, baseball has affected me in many ways. I learned Spanish by listening to the commentators on baseball games. I enjoy discussing all aspects of baseball. It's something I really get excited about. My dream job is to be the general manager of a pro sports franchise, preferably baseball.
In my five years in the Dominican Republic, I had some unforgettable experiences, including my first baseball game. I discovered that baseball is more than just a game, and it became an outlet for me. I'm not the most extroverted person in the world, but baseball gave me a way for me to connect with others. Amongst other things it taught me the importance of communication, a skill vital for success. Sports help to connect and bring together different types of people. Because of the DR and my experiences there, I'm a more well rounded person and communicate better when talking sports or otherwise.