This is a Dominican Republic AAR, but also could be considered “hands off” because let’s be realistic, what can the Dominican Republic really do in HOI?
Start date is 1936. Settings are normal in both difficulty and AI with fog of war off to see what’s happening in the world.
The idea comes from the book “The Tropic of Baseball: Baseball in the Dominican Republic” by Rob Ruck (Meckler Publishing 1991).
The alternate theme of this story is the great sport of baseball, or beisbol in the Latin American world. In 1937, General Rafael Trujillo managed to help bring together one of the great Latin American baseball teams of all-time, the Ciudad Trujillo Dragones. This team included some of the great Negro League players from the United States, such as Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, James “Cool Papa” Bell, Sam Bankhead and others. The Dragones raided so many players from the Homestead Grays and Pittsburgh Crawfords that the diplomats sent into the United States to procure ballplayers actually were arrested and the Dominican government had to lodge a complaint with Cordell Hull.
Historically, professional baseball in the Dominican Republic died off after 1937 for the next 14 years. In this alternate history, Trujillo continues professional baseball and does what he can to make the Dominican the capital of beisbol.
January 1, 1936; Ciudad Trujillo, Dominican Republic
El Jefe, General Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina sits in his office, pondering the events of the previous evening, the wild party and celebrating the new year.
Celebrations were not common during the first part of the 20th century in the Dominican Republic. Aside from occupation by the United States and natural disasters, it was a grim time indeed. There was no room for any additional factories. Those who didn’t work in the sugar mills worked in the fields.
And there was always that threat on the western side of the island from Haiti. One division of army troops made sure the Haitians stayed on their third of the island. Haiti also had one division and a fleet in port.
Trujillo, who ruled under the mandate “God and Trujillo” wanted to make his nation great in some area. And the area the country was improving the most was in sports, specifically baseball, that game brought to the shores of the Dominican Republic by the Americans.
The nation of Trujillo was becoming a popular destination for those Yankees as well. In 1933, the Cuban Stars of the Negro Leagues came to the country to play ball. Also, Richmond barnstormed there. Venezuela’s Concordia team followed with some stars of the Negro Leagues in its lineup.
Just this past year, 1935, the Cincinnati Reds of Major League Baseball’s National League visited. Of course, the Yanquis left with the victories over both Ciudad Trujillo squads, Licey and Escogido.
Elsewhere in the world, things weren’t so great. The Great Depression was softening, but the throes of violence could be felt.
Yes, it would be beisbol to bring the nation to its proper spot in the world.