Baseball is the Heart of the Dominican Republic.

It was heartbreaking watching the Dominican Republic get eliminated from the World Baseball Classic on Saturday. Throughout this tournament, it was a celebration for Dominican’s and its players with every hit, catch, and strikeout.

In Miami, players felt like they were back home playing baseball because of the overwhelming support the team had. Dominicans arrived at Marlins Park with Güiras, Tamboras, Platanos, and D.R. Flags to represent their country.

“Platano Power” was in full effect in Miami with the Dominican team that seemed to be clicking on all cylinders and fed off the cheers of the fans. As a Dominican, it was a joy to watch this team play with passion and excitement in the WBC.

In San Diego, the environment was not as overwhelming as it was in Miami, to say the least. Dominicans still came to support with full “Platano Power” but seemed as if something was missing.

There is an enormous difference between a stadium filled with people dancing, cheering, and playing instruments to one that only has certain sections of those fans.

This change of atmosphere may have impacted the players in some form, but they still gave it all they had for the Dominican Republic. Those players went out there to play for the name on the front of their jersey and not the one behind it. Losing in this tournament was hard not only for the players but also for Dominicans all around the world.

The WBC gave us another reason to come together as countrymen and women to support what we love, which is baseball and the Dominican Republic.

Dominicans tuned into every game with friends and family to see our country be represented the right way in a sport we love because baseball runs through the blood of every Dominican.

Even though the Dominican Republic did not repeat as WBC Champions, it showed the world what baseball means to us.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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