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This study examines the political-economy of baseball in the Dominican Republic from a critical perspective. As such, the presence of American major league teams is seen to have a deleterious structural effect on the autonomy and quality of baseball in the Dominican Republic. In particular, in attempting to develop the game, U.S. interests—like those of other multinationals—are underdeveloping the game. A second dimension to this study views baseball as an American popular cultural form that functions to soften the regular, hostile responses of Dominicans to American political and economic domination of their country. Thus, while serving to reproduce U.S. control, baseball takes on the appearance of a benevolent, even helpful, cultural institution.
Alan M. Klein is with the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at North-Eastern University, 360 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02115.