After a untypical winter baseball season in the Dominican Republic, where two of the traditional top teams, the Aguilas Cibaeñas (Cibao Eagles) and the Tigres de Licey (Licey Tigers) failed to reach the finals, and in their place, the Leones del Escogido (Lions of the Chosen One), a baseball team that last won a title in 1992, won the local tournament and earned a place in the Caribbean Series. The Santo Domingo-based Leones introduced big changes administratively and structurally for the 2009-2010 season and it paid off. José Francisco Arias of the blog Cristal y Colores [es] summarizes this success:
¡Por fin los Leones del Escogido logran ganar el campeonato de Béisbol Profesional de RD…! Vencieron la noche de este jueves 5 carreras a 2 a los Gigantes del Cibao en el estadio Julián Javier de San Francisco de Macorís y se llevan la corona. Hacía 18 años que no lograban el cetro. La celebración comenzó anoche mismo y se extenderá por varios días. Los escogidistas ansiaban celebrar con su trofeo de campeones.
Finally the Escogido Lions were able to win the championship in the Dominican Republic Professional Baseball League! Tonight they beat the Cibao Giants with a score of 5 runs to 2 at the Julián Javier Stadium in San Francisco de Macorís and took home the crown. It has been 18 years since they last won the title. The celebration started that night and will last for many days. The residents of Escogido have been waiting to celebrate their championship trophy.
Not only did Escogido win the local tournament, but they also captured first place in the 2010 Caribbean Series, which was held on Margarita Island in Venezuela from February 2-7. By defeating the Leones de Caracas (Caracas Lions) 7-4, Escogido only lost 1 game during the tournament. Felivia Mejía (@LaBari) shows her enthusiasm on Twitter:
Los Leones del Escogido regresaron para ganar en grande. Felicidades x la victoria en la Serie del Caribe. Por acá andan fanáticos felices!!
The Escogido Lions have returned to win big. Congratulations for the victory in the Caribbean Series. Around her, the fans are happy!!
With this victory by Escogido, the Dominican Republic has won 18 titles in the Caribbean Series, and it is the country that has won the most titles in the history of the event, in which Mexico, Venezuela, Puerto Rico regularly participate, along with Panama and Cuba which have participated in the past.
The participation by Escogido in the Caribbean Series broke the dominance that other teams like the Tigres de Licey and the Aguilas Cibaeñas had locally and regionally. From 1992 to 2009, the Dominican Republic took home 9 Caribbean Series titles, 5 of which by the Eagles, and the other 4 by the Tigers.
With the rise of Escogido, there is more interest and competitiveness in the local winter baseball season in the Domincan Republic, where the same teams do not always come out on top, as had happened in years past. Regarding this turn of events. Mario Peguero (@mariopeguero) celebrates:
Lo mejor de todo fue q los Leones del Escogido ganaron la serie del caribe ayer!!! Comienza una nueva era!!!
The best part of it all is that the Lions of Escogido won the Caribbean series yesterday! A new era begins!!!