ORANGE, NJ – Since 2008, the Orange Monte Irvin Giants have worked with community partners to arrange for Club Liga Deportiva Hector Delgado from San Cristobal in the Dominican Republic to travel to Orange for a series of youth baseball games against local area teams. This year the Delgado club brought two teams, a 12U team (players ages 9 to 12) and a 16U team (player ages 13 to 16). They arrived August 4 and departed August 20.
Cristina Mateo, an Orange Board of Education member, worked with families in Orange and the surrounding area to develop home stays for the players and coaches. “The love and support we received from the citizens of Orange, the City of Orange and others for our young visitors was unbelievable,” said Mateo, whose family is from San Cristobal. “We wanted to provide a sense of home and family during their stay.”
San Cristobal, 20 minutes away from the Santo Domingo, is very rich in baseball tradition, with hometown players the likes of Vladimir Guerrero, Ubaldo Jimenez, Ervin Santana, and Melky Cabrera just to name a few. “For most of the players, it’s their first time in the United States,” says Wally Boyett, Monte Irvin Giants Founder and Program Director. “I remember in 2008, when Delgado brought his first team over, they had this tall skinny kid who could hit the cover off the ball. That kid, Miguel Andujar, is now the starting rookie third baseman for the New York Yankees.”
“We love Orange, it’s our second home!” said Hector Delgado, President of Club Liga Deportiva Hector Delgado. “Cristina, Wally and everybody else do a great job making us feel like family. That’s why we’ve been coming to Orange for ten consecutive years.”