Dominican Professional Baseball League

The Dominican Republic Professional Baseball League (Spanish: Liga de Béisbol Profesional de la República Dominicana or LIDOM) is a professional baseball winter league consisting of six teams spread across the Dominican Republic; it is the highest level of professional baseball played in the Dominican Republic. The league's players include many prospects that go on to play Major League Baseball in the United States while also signing many current MLB veterans. The champion of LIDOM advances to play in the yearly Caribbean Series.

Dominican Professional Baseball League
1955 official
PresidentVitelio Mejía Ortiz
No. of teams6
Country Dominican Republic
Most recent
Tigres del Licey
Most titlesTigres del Licey
(23 titles)
TV partner(s)Dominican Republic
Águilas (CDN Deportes)
Estrellas, Toros (Coral 39)
Licey, Escogido (Digital 15)
Gigantes (Channel 4RD)
Outside the D.R.

Caribbean Series

Each team plays a fifty-game round-robin schedule that begins in mid October and runs to the end of December. The top four teams engage in another round-robin schedule with 18 games per team from the end of December to the end of January; the top two teams in those standings then play a best-of-nine series for the national title. The league's champion advances to the Caribbean Series to play against the representatives from Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama and Puerto Rico.[2]

Current teams

Dominican Professional Baseball League team locations
Team City Stadium Capacity
Águilas Cibaeñas Santiago Estadio Cibao 18,077
Estrellas Orientales San Pedro de Macorís Estadio Tetelo Vargas 8,000
Gigantes del Cibao San Francisco de Macorís Estadio Julián Javier 12,000
Leones del Escogido Santo Domingo Estadio Quisqueya 14,469
Tigres del Licey Santo Domingo Estadio Quisqueya 14,469
Toros del Este La Romana Estadio Francisco Micheli 10,000

Former teams

  • Azucareros del Este, 1983–2008, a former name of the current Toros del Este
  • Caimanes del Sur (San Cristóbal), during 1983–1989
  • Delfines del Atlántico (Puerto Plata), this team was never officially in the league and did not play
  • Pollos del Cibao / Pollos Nacionales / Pollos Béisbol Club (San Francisco de Macorís) during 1999–2002, previously Gigantes del Nordeste, currently Gigantes del Cibao


For his close involvement in the Dominican league's establishment and early development, Pedro Miguel Caratini (born ca. 1880) has been called "the father of Dominican baseball".[3]

During the years 1930-1963, military dictator General Rafael Trujillo can be credited with furthering the sport of baseball in Dominican Republic. Trujillo encouraged many sugar refineries to create teams of cane cutting laborers to play baseball during the idle months of cultivation. Fostering high levels of competition, the organization structure continued to mature stimulating growth in the intensity and popularity of the game.[4]

In 1937, teams of the Dominican Republic signed a large number of players from the Negro leagues of the United States. These players were given large salaries by Dominican men with money and political power. Among these players were baseball stars James Thomas "Cool Papa" Bell and Satchel Paige. However, these contracts exhausted team finances, leading to a decline of Dominican baseball until 1950.[4]

Founding teams

In the early 1900s, four Dominican teams formed. These teams still exist today, and form the foundation of Dominican professional baseball:

Cultural impact

Baseball was first brought to the Dominican Republic by Cubans fleeing the Ten Years' War. At first, it struggled to gain popularity, being confined mostly to the Cuban exiles, but its popularity grew as more and more native-born Dominicans took it up. The growing popularity of the sport led to the formation of LIDOM. The formation of the new domestic baseball league allowed Dominican players to flourish and public interest to grow. The sport's domestic popularity and the new league increased the bond that many spectators felt with their teams; even today, many Dominicans feel tightly connected to the sport.

Community-level impact

People in Estadio Quisqueya of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

As a cultural icon of the Dominican Republic, baseball holds a strong presence in many parts the country. Surrounded by working class neighborhoods, baseball stadiums in larger Dominican cities are routinely maintained. Owners of big businesses like sugar refineries funded the construction of these fields to benefit from the games. Games in these stadiums attract major crowds and a sense of community can be observed.[5] Like their American counterparts, these "latinized" games exude free-spiritedness, social cohesion, and festivity from the fans and players alike.[6] In the Dominican Republic, baseball players are regaled as sports heroes and function as role models to their fan base. This idolization is covered by the media more so than in the United States.[4]

The Dominican Republic has the largest economy in the Caribbean and Central American region. The country has the fastest growing economy in Latin America, and a growing middle-class population.[7] However income inequality persists in this developing nation, according to statistics in 2016, 30.5 percent of Dominicans lived below the nation's poverty line, while 5.5% of Dominicans were unemployed.[8] With poverty preventing certain segments of the Dominican population a chance to get a higher education, many look up to the success of those who become famous baseball players, and see baseball as an escape from poverty. Because of this, children begin playing organized baseball as early as six years old,[6] and compete with others in leagues with the hopes of being recognized by baseball scouts.

Some argue that the perception of baseball as economic salvation is in reality detrimental to the youth of the Dominican Republic, as it promotes seeking baseball success at all costs, at the expense of pursuing higher education.[6]

American hegemony inside Dominican baseball

After Fidel Castro's revolution in Cuba and the subsequent U.S. blockade, scouts of the majors turned their sights towards the Dominican Republic.[4] Posed with the opportunity to acquire quality talent at a reasonable price, major league teams established "working relationships" with Dominican professional teams.[9] Since the 1950s, all 30 MLB franchises have established baseball training academies in the Dominican Republic[10] which are tasked by their respective teams to condition and prepare young Dominican prospects for a chance at further developing in the United States. Having produced many successful athletes from these academies, these academies undercut the reliance of U.S. teams on Dominican baseball organizations.[9]

Championship history

Season Champion Manager Runner-up
1922 Leones del Escogido Luis Alfau Tigres del Licey
1923 Incomplete season
1924 Tigres del Licey Charles A. Dore Leones del Escogido
1929 Tigres del Licey Charles A. Dore Leones del Escogido
1936 Estrellas Orientales Enrique Mejía Tigres del Licey
1937 Dragones de Ciudad Trujillo Lázaro Salazar Aguilas Cibaeñas
Season Champion Manager Runner-up
1951 Tigres del Licey Félix Delgado Leones del Escogido
1952 Águilas Cibaeñas Rodolfo Fernández Tigres del Licey
1953 Tigres del Licey Oscar Rodríguez Águilas Cibaeñas
1954 Estrellas Orientales Ramón Bragaña Tigres del Licey
1955–56 Leones del Escogido Frank Genovese Águilas Cibaeñas
1956–57 Leones del Escogido Red Davis Tigres del Licey
1957–58 Leones del Escogido Salty Parker Estrellas Orientales
1958–59 Tigres del Licey Joe Schultz Leones del Escogido
1959–60 Leones del Escogido Pete Reiser Estrellas Orientales
1960–61 Leones del Escogido Pepe Lucas Águilas Cibaeñas
1961–62 Incomplete season
1962–63 No season
1963–64 Tigres del Licey Vernon Benson Águilas Cibaeñas
1964–65 Águilas Cibaeñas Al Widmar Leones del Escogido
1965–66 No season
1966–67 Águilas Cibaeñas Pete Peterson Leones del Escogido
1967–68 Estrellas Orientales Tony Pacheco Leones del Escogido
1968–69 Leones del Escogido Andy Gilbert Estrellas Orientales
1969–70 Tigres del Licey Billy Muffett Águilas Cibaeñas
1970–71 Tigres del Licey Fred Hatfield Leones del Escogido
1971–72 Águilas Cibaeñas Ozzie Virgil Tigres del Licey
1972–73 Tigres del Licey Tom Lasorda Estrellas Orientales
1973–74 Tigres del Licey Tom Lasorda Águilas Cibaeñas
1974–75 Águilas Cibaeñas Al Widmar Estrellas Orientales
1975–76 Águilas Cibaeñas Tim Murtaugh Tigres del Licey
1976–77 Tigres del Licey Buck Rodgers Águilas Cibaeñas
1977–78 Águilas Cibaeñas Johnny Lipon Tigres del Licey
1978–79 Águilas Cibaeñas Johnny Lipon Leones del Escogido
1979–80 Tigres del Licey Del Crandall Estrellas Orientales
1980–81 Leones del Escogido Felipe Rojas Alou Águilas Cibaeñas
1981–82 Leones del Escogido Felipe Rojas Alou Estrellas Orientales
1982–83 Tigres del Licey Manny Mota Águilas Cibaeñas
1983–84 Tigres del Licey Manny Mota Águilas Cibaeñas
1984–85 Tigres del Licey Terry Collins Azucareros del Este
1985–86 Águilas Cibaeñas Winston Llenas Tigres del Licey
1986–87 Águilas Cibaeñas Winston Llenas Estrellas Orientales
1987–88 Leones del Escogido Phil Regan Estrellas Orientales
1988–89 Leones del Escogido Phil Regan Tigres del Licey
1989–90 Leones del Escogido Felipe Rojas Alou Águilas Cibaeñas
1990–91 Tigres del Licey John Roseboro Leones del Escogido
1991–92 Leones del Escogido Felipe Rojas Alou Estrellas Orientales
1992–93 Águilas Cibaeñas Miguel Diloné Azucareros del Este
1993–94 Tigres del Licey Casey Parsons Águilas Cibaeñas
1994–95 Azucareros del Este Art Howe Águilas Cibaeñas
1995–96 Águilas Cibaeñas Terry Francona Estrellas Orientales
1996–97 Águilas Cibaeñas Mike Quade Leones del Escogido
1997–98 Águilas Cibaeñas Tony Peña Tigres del Licey
1998–99 Tigres del Licey Dave Jauss Leones del Escogido
1999–00 Águilas Cibaeñas Tony Peña Estrellas Orientales
2000–01 Águilas Cibaeñas Félix Fermín Leones del Escogido
2001–02 Tigres del Licey Bob Geren Águilas Cibaeñas
2002–03 Águilas Cibaeñas Félix Fermín Leones del Escogido
2003–04 Tigres del Licey Manny Acta Gigantes del Cibao
2004–05 Águilas Cibaeñas Félix Fermín Tigres del Licey
2005–06 Tigres del Licey Rafael Landestoy Águilas Cibaeñas
2006–07 Águilas Cibaeñas Félix Fermín Tigres del Licey
2007–08 Águilas Cibaeñas Félix Fermín Tigres del Licey*
2008–09 Tigres del Licey José Offerman Gigantes del Cibao
2009–10 Leones del Escogido Ken Oberkfell Gigantes del Cibao
2010–11 Toros del Este Dean Treanor Estrellas Orientales
2011–12 Leones del Escogido Ken Oberkfell Águilas Cibaeñas
2012–13 Leones del Escogido Audo Vicente Águilas Cibaeñas
2013–14 Tigres del Licey Jose Offerman Leones del Escogido
2014–15 Gigantes del Cibao Audo Vicente Estrellas Orientales
2015–16 Leones del Escogido Luis Rojas Tigres del Licey
2016–17 Tigres del Licey Audo Vicente Águilas Cibaeñas
2017–18 Águilas Cibaeñas Lino Rivera Tigres del Licey
2018–19 Estrellas Orientales Fernando Tatis Toros del Este
2019–20 Toros del Este Lino Rivera Tigres del Licey
2020–21 Aguilas Cibaeñas Felix Fermin Gigantes del Cibao
2021–22 Gigantes del Cibao Luis Urueta Estrellas Orientales
2022–23 Tigres del Licey Jose Offerman Estrellas Orientales
      Won Caribbean Series

*Two Dominican teams participated in the Serie del Caribe in 2008

Team Championships
Tigres del Licey 23 (2)*
Águilas Cibaeñas 22
Leones del Escogido 16 (1)*
Estrellas Orientales 3 (1)*
Toros del Este 3
Gigantes del Cibao 2
Dragones de Ciudad Trujillo 0 (1)*
Caimanes del Sur 0

*Championships won before LIDOM (1951)

See also

  • Baseball awards § Dominican Republic


  1. "Watch every LIDOM game on MLB.TV".
  2. HISTORIA DE LA SERIE DEL CARIBE Archived February 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Accessed on 2011-01-12.
  3. Van Hyning, Thomas E.; Valero, Eduardo (1995). Puerto Rico's Winter League: A History of Major League Baseball's Launching Pad. McFarland. p. 1.
  4. Klein, Alan. "Baseball as Underdevelopment: The Political-Economy of Sport in the Dominican Republic". Northwestern University, 1989
  5. Gordon, Dan. "Winter League Escapades: Dispatches from Ballparks in the Dominican Republic". University of Nebraska Press, 2001
  6. Klein, Alan. "American Hegemony, Dominican Resistance, and Baseball". Dialectical Anthropology, 1988
  7. "The World Bank In Dominican Republic".
  8. "Central America :: Dominican Republic — The World Factbook - Central Intelligence Agency". Retrieved 2020-07-09.
  9. Klein, Alan. "Culture, Politics, and Baseball in the Dominican Republic". Latin American Perspectives, 1995
  10. Jessop, Alicia (March 19, 2013). "The Secrets Behind The Dominican Republic's Success In The World Baseball Classic And Major League Baseball". Forbes. Retrieved January 3, 2014.
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