In Latin America’s baseball capital, a soccer town stands out

90 Soccer

By Jacob Kushner

At the Viejo Jack bar in the town of Jarabacoa, the World Cup match between Brazil and the Ivory Coast is playing on a fuzzy projector screen. At this very moment across most of Latin America, millions of soccer fans are gathering in bars just like this to watch their favorite team progress toward the championship. Here at the Viejo Jack, there are exactly five such fans.

This is the Dominican Republic, where baseball is the second most commonly spoken language—where kids with no bats, balls or gloves use broom sticks, pieces of plastic and their bare hands to imitate what is indisputably this nation’s athletic passion.

But now the language of fútbol—‘estriker,’ patada and gol—is sneaking into the baseball-centric vocabulary of Dominicans who are taking interest in the world’s most popular sport.

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