Republic of Baseball POYi 2017 Communication Arts 2017 New York Times Feature 2016 No other nation on Earth outside the US produces as many professional baseball players as the tiny Caribbean island. For the millions of young boys in the Dominican Republic, baseball is not only a ticket, often times, is the only ticket out of poverty. This was the last time Raymel Flores washes dishes behind his home in their only kitchen. He grew up in this house with his brothers and mother, all sharing the one bedroom under a tin roof. In the following week, Raymel signed a professional contract for almost a million dollars and began his journey to the big leagues. He bought his mother a new home in the nearby city of San Pedro de Macoris. The home has two kitchens now and 3 bedrooms. Raymel is one of the lucky ones. He's already changed the trajectory of his and his family's future. The Republic of Baseball is a long-term look at culture in the Dominican Republic and how the American pastime has changed adolescence for much of the country's youth.