Baseball heads to the Dominican Republic
11/23 – Arrive in DR
11/24 – vs. San Francisco
11/24 – vs. MLB All-Stars
11/24 – Community Service
11/25 – vs. Philadelphia
11/25 – vs. Kansas City
11/25 – Community Service
11/26 – vs. Kansas City
11/27 – Return to Kansas
11/22 – Headin’ Down
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LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas baseball embarks on a five-day journey through the Dominican Republic when the Jayhawks take flight for the Caribbean on Wednesday, November 23.
KU will play five games during the trip with split-squad action taking place on Thursday and Friday. The Jayhawks will play Dominican teams affiliated with the San Francisco Giants (Nov. 24), Philadelphia Phillies (Nov. 25), Kansas City Royals (Nov. 25 & 26) and a select group of All-Stars (Nov. 24). All five contests will begin at 10:30 a.m., local time (8:30 a.m. CT). The team will return to the United States on Sunday, November 27, just in time to resume classes on Monday.
In addition to the baseball games, Kansas’ other purpose of the trip is to provide community service for those in need. The team is scheduled to visit a local school, Escuela Marta Rosa Castillo, where the players will interact with the community youth and provide care packages with KU baseball gear. The community service planned is part of the MLB Cares Program.
“From a team bonding standpoint, any time you get a chance to make a special trip, you have to take advantage of it,” head coach Ritch Price said. “You grind it out three months in the fall and then you get to go down to the Dominican Republic and play three teams with ties to professional organizations and play at a high level. The thing that makes this trip so special is the community service that we do each night, and we will continue to do it with this group. I think when it is all said and done, it will be a trip of a lifetime for those young men.”
Kansas last visited the Dominican Republic in December of 2012, when the Jayhawks played eight games in eight days in the Caribbean and spent time giving back to the local community. During that trip, the team hosted free youth baseball clinics, visited with kids at a local orphanage and delivered health kits to an impoverished area in Guayabo, a sugar cane village. Over 1,000 health kits were delivered.
The only member of the squad who was on that trip in 2012, senior infielder Marcus Wheeler, remembered the importance of giving back.
“The last time we went to the Dominican Republic, I was only a freshman,” Wheeler said. “I had no idea what to expect, but it was an incredible experience that I will never forget. Not only do we get to play baseball, but we get to help out in the community – the essence of the trip. Nothing makes you feel better than to give back, and I am looking forward to doing it again this year.”
Fans can follow along with daily updates on KUAthletics.com, or by following the “Baseball Tours the Dominican Republic” blog.
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