Dodgers to Donate Bus in Dominican

The Los Angeles Dodgers will donate one 40-foot bus to the Asociación de Cronistas Deportivos de la Republica Dominicana, Inc., which is the association of sports writers in the Dominican Republic, according to Dodger Special Advisor to the Chairman and Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda. 

    Following last year's donation of three busses to the Dominican Republic, this donation is being made in an ongoing attempt to help the region and its people.

"The Dodgers have always tried to help the people of the Dominican Republic," said Lasorda.  "This bus will be a tremendous help and we are proud to be able to lend our support."  

Lasorda obtained the bus from the Los Angeles County Metro Transit Authority with the assistance of Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge, 4th District. In exchange for the bus, Lasorda addressed the MTA and the Los Angeles Gateway chapter of the National Contract Management Association.   

The  Asociación de Cronistas Deportivos de la Republica Dominicana, Inc. is a group of sports writers who cover sporting events throughout the country. Last year's buses were donated to Futuro Vivo, a school in the Dominican Republic that is located in Santo Domingo and was adopted and supported by the Dodgers. The school offers education, nutrition and medical assistance to more than 500 underprivileged children.  

The Dodgers have owned and operated Campo Las Palmas, the baseball academy in the Dominican Republic, since 1986 and more than 15 Major League players, including All-Star pitcher Ramon Martinez, All-Star outfielder Raul Mondesi and three-time Cy Young Award winner Pedro Martinez, have begun their professional careers there. Among the current Dodgers who trained at Campo Las Palmas en route to the big leagues is infielder Tony Abreu.   

The bus will be shipped from Los Angeles to Miami, where Dodger Advisor of Latin America, Scouting and Player Development Ralph Avila, will have it  sent to Santo Domingo. 

The Dodgers and Avila, who ran Campo Las Palmas from its inception in 1986 through 2001, have a longstanding relationship with the President of the Dominican Republic Leonel Fernández Reyna and Sports Minister Jay Payano as well as with two Carmelite sisters, Uti and Inés, who run the school.  

"We have always had a special relationship with the Asociación de Cronistas Deportivos de la Republica Dominicana," said Avila.  "Tommy and I love this country and are committed to helping whenever we can."