Baseball in Nicaragua; Our National Pastime
By Ernesto Somarriba
November 17, 2010
Editors Note: I asked Ernesto a few questions and the opening paragraph contains his answers;
The baseball stadium in the following story is outside of Chinandega city, you have to take the road to the northwest going to El viejo.
Boer de Managua, Leones de Leon, Oriental de Granada and Tigres del Chinandega are the four Major League Teams in Nicaragua.
The best Nicaragua player was Dennis Martinez, He pitched a perfect game against the L.A. Dodgers in JULY 28 of 1991.
Now we have Vicente Padilla, (in this moment he is a free agent), Everth Cabrera(San Diego Padres), Wilton Lopez(Houston Astros) and some other that play in the minor league(32 players in different category) of different organization of the major league baseball.
A national player can earn at least $3000 dollars per month, a foreign player can earn $10,000 dollars, I don’t know why is this difeerence of salary?.
the cost of the ticket vary from C20 cordobas to C100 cordobas, it depent of the location of the seat.( $1-$5 dollars)
There is something beatiful that all Nicaraguans love, what is it? Baseball!
Baseball here in Nicaragua is a religion, not a passion. We have been playing baseball for more that 100 years, How it comes? Well when the American’s first came here they used to play baseball and some time they din’t have enough players, so they showed to the Nicaraguan’s how to play it, and then we started playing against them. A night game: The fans begin to arrive and the vendors hope for good sales
When the twentieth century was begining some members of the Army from the United States came here, they were helping to the Nicaraguan’s to build the rail tracks for the trains, they used to teach us the best tecniques to play, after that it was becoming a Nicaraguan favorite entertaiment, but now after more than 100 years it has become a religión.
When the Baseball world series started we were very excited, we used to watch every game between the San Fransico Giants and the Texas Ranger, we thoght that it was to bad that the Giants beat Rangers in 5 games we wanted to watch more, but any way we joined.
One week ago our main event started, well it isn’t the major league, but it is our baseball, here in Nicaragua we have a profesional league, we have four teams, they are Leones de Leon, Oriental the Granada, Boer the Managua and tigres del Chinandegua, the season take 4 months including the final, and all the Nicaraguan like to go to the baseball game.
In this league come some profesional players from the United States,Canada, Venezuela,Dominicana, Cuba, Panama and of course the best players of Nicaragua including those who are signed from organizations of the Major league.
How can you watch at the pictures, we don’t have the Yankee statium or even the Dodgers stadium, but I think that we have the same passion or maybe more, also in these pictures you can see the stadium totaly full, you may say , how it come? Well simple, we love baseball, also when you are in the stadium you forget all your problems and if you go alone, it doesn’t matter, because you can speak about baseball with the person who is sitting beside you, no matter who is that person and you may feel that you know that person from all the time
Also you can cosume some Nicaraguan food as quesillo, vigoron, chancho con yuca, tajadas, hot-dog, carne asada and some more.
What can I say, we always have fun.
Here in Central America the football is the most famous sport, but here in Nicaragua, baseball is not a passion,it is a religión.
If you come to Nicaragua don’t forget to visit the baseball stadium anywhere you go around the country, we don’t have the expensiviest and bigest stadium as in USA, but I asure you, that you will feel the same passion or maybe more.
Here in Nicaragua, remember that baseball is not a pasión, it is a religión.