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Andy's Legacy


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This bonanza has spawned a profitable market in young talent and made the procurement of Latino players akin to the trafficking of children. Most of these boys are poor and lack good counsel, but they benefit from MLB policies that exempt them from the draft and prevent them from signing contracts until the year they turn 17. This minimum age was instituted after the Toronto Blue Jays were derided for signing a 13-year-old Dominican boy, Jimy Kelly, in 1984.



As an anthropologist, Klein is especially intrigued by the ways in which prospects on the island and the family members and trainers supporting them have slipped and slid around the most burdensome and arbitrary rules imposed on them by MLB, and by the attitudes generated by their ingenuity. As he explains, point of view is all. Behavior that strikes MLB's executives and general managers as "wily and scheming" seems merely "creative and open" – as well as logical and utterly necessary - to those representing the players. No wonder Klein has concluded that the relationship between Major League Baseball and the Dominicans to some extent "mirrors global relations between those with power and subalterns."

In one of the book's blurbs, The Nation's sports editor, Dave Zirin, writes that "if you don't understand the Dominican baseball pipeline in all its dimensions, then you can't say you understand baseball in the 21st century." He's right, and the triumph of Dominican Baseball is that Alan Klein makes the learning process energizing and compelling.


This the Nationals game.




Steroids. For 16-year-olds. 




One moment Jorge stands in the shade, a Staten Island Yankees cap atop his head, shouting instructions in Spanish. Later, he swats a steady stream of grounders, one of which strikes a small boulder and soars past chubby, 11-year-old Miguel Lugo, nicknamed "Little Jeter" for his "great glove and bat," like his Yankee hero, Derek Jeter.

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