After the COVID-19 pandemic forced the 2020-2021 winter baseball season to be played behind closed doors in only 30 games, Dominican fans put all their expectations on the 2021-2022 winter season.

There was a desire to return to normalcy, to the stadium festivities, the friendly get-togethers and the discussions about the games. Moreover, the country was hosting the 64th edition of the Caribbean Series, an international championship that counts on the participation of the winning teams of the professional winter leagues of the countries encompassing the Confederation of Professional Baseball of the Caribbean (CBPC): Mexico, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Venezuela as standing members, and Columbia, Cuba, and Panama as invited guests.

Expectations were high. Big league stars were to play in the winter season baseball. Also, not only would the return to the stadiums cheer up the Dominican people, it would also serve as a thermometer to gauge if the country was getting over the COVID–19 pandemic.

How could this historic and emotionally charged moment in time be portrayed for posterity? The Art of Baseball, with the paintings and illustrations of Englishman Andy Brown and the writing of Dominican Dionisio Soldevilla, seeks to grab that piece of our recent history and share it with all Dominican fans.



Baseball is one of the central elements of Dominican culture and seems to have been linked to our concept as a nation since it arrived to the country from Cuba at the end of the 19th century. Today, 136 years later, baseball has become one of the largest sporting events, an important source of employment, a connection with the United States and other nations, and the dream of social ascension for a large part of the Dominican youth who want to leave poverty behind to become a Major League star and emulate players like Robinson Canó, Sammy Sosa, Marcell Ozuna, Bartolo Colón, David Ortíz, Manny Ramírez, Alberto Pujols, Adrián Beltré, among others.




During the off-season of Major League Baseball games, the Dominican Republic holds its own annual baseball championship, one of the most attractive and interesting in the Caribbean region. Organized by the Professional Baseball League of the Dominican Republic (LIDOM), it consists of six competing teams—Tigres del Licey, Leones del Escogido, Águilas Cibaeñas, Azucareros del Este, Estrellas Orientales, Gigantes del Cibao—representing, respectively, the Dominican cities of Santo Domingo (Licey and Escogida), Santiago, La Romana, San Pedro de Macorís and San Francisco de Macorís, generating more than one billion pesos in revenue, serving as entertainment and cultural recreation for a large part of the population. The stadiums fill up and the games are watched from homes or projected on giant screens in neighborhood colmados (bodegas) and bars. There, hordes of fans celebrate and discuss every hit, relevant play or when the pitcher strikes out his rival. During the winter baseball season, baseball becomes a trend on social media, as well as in offices, bars, colmados, car repair shops, barber shops, it becomes the main topic of conversation.


Andy Brown, a British national, has traveled to more than a hundred baseball stadiums, where he has documented the essence of the games through his paintings and illustrations. Unlike many baseball fans, he did not become passionate about baseball in his youth, rather it was something he discovered about ten years ago, and it was not in England, but in the Busan region of South Korea, where he gave art classes. Since then, he has painted in stadiums in more than twelve countries. His work has been recognized by Buckingham Palace, the Cooperstown Hall of Fame and the television networks ESPN, BBC, Fox News, among others. Therefore, his arrival in the Dominican Republic —one of the great capitals of baseball— was an unavoidable and logical destination.


Invited by INICIA, the English painter Andy Brown spent three months in the Dominican Republic and visited the five LIDOM baseball stadiums, as well as the stadiums belonging to the Major League Baseball academies and a series of community stadiums where not only baseball is played, but also softball and vitilla (a version of street baseball in which the bat is substituted by a broom stick and the ball by a plastic bottle cap). The stadium that he most visited was Quisqueya. He also frequented the Cibao Stadium on several occasions and found it incredibly picturesque due to the hills that can be seen beyond left field and the yellow flags decorating the grandstand. Another stadium that seemed poetic to him was the Tetelo Vargas Stadium, where people would sit on top of the scoreboard and the roofs of neighboring houses.


Artist Andy Brown, was impressed by baseball academies and schools. Although he understood the importance of these academies, he was moved by the fact that they were adjacent to bateyes (low income neighborhoods that originally housed sugar cane laborers) full of miserable little shacks, it was impossible to look around without thinking that it was an ideal metaphor for the abysmal inequality that exists in our country. On one occasion, Andy painted one of the academy baseball fields. Basically, it was a green carpet cut with precision by a sharp machete. While he was painting it, he noticed a group of barefoot and ragged children playing vitilla in a field full of goats next to the academy. Of course, the scene made him reflect again on social inequality and the fact that behind all of those Dominican baseball players who play in the Major Leagues there are thousands who did not make the cut.


Among the players that Andy painted is the Dominican Marcell Ozuna, who plays with the Atlanta Braves and was awarded the Most Valuable Player in the finals by LIDOM for the 2021-2022 edition. He also painted the players: Junior Lake, Jeremy Peña and Emilio Bonifacio. Additionally he painted Rudy Rosario —the number one fan of the Águilas Cibaeñas who dresses completely in yellow— and the commentator and journalist Franklin Mirabal, whom he painted after he had been allowed access to the Quisqueya Stadium media center and being impressed by the theatrical and talented way in which he narrates the games. He was lucky that the last portrait he did was of David Ortíz, "Big Papi." It was one of the most memorable moments of his journey and career as a baseball painter, since Andy is a huge fan of the former Major League Baseball player and Cooperstown Hall of Famer.


The expectations for the 2021-2022 LIDOM winter baseball tournament were very high. The fans returned to the stadiums after a 2020-2021 tournament that only had 30 regular season games, all played without an audience in the stands changing the postseason format. Luckily, these expectations were met, and according to information from LIDOM, became the season with the highest stadium attendance.

The Gigantes de Cibao were the most dominant team in the winter tournament. Finishing in second place were the Estrellas del Este. The Tigres del Licey team registered a score of 21-19, only two games away from the first place. The fourth team in the standings were the Águilas Cibaeñas, who registered a score of 20-20. Behind the Águilas were the Leones del Escogido with a score of 19-21. As for the Toros del Este, unfortunately they were left behind with a 15-2 score.

In the All against All of 2021-2022, the Cibao Giants continued with the strength they showed in the regular season: they won ten games and suffered six defeats. The Estrellas Orientales got off to a bad start, but finished strong, with seven straight wins to tie with the Gigantes del Cibao. If in the All against All, two teams ensure their classification to the final series, it is not necessary to complete the calendar of 18 games. That was precisely what happened with Los Gigantes and Las Estrellas Orientales.

For the Dominican final, two teams that had never faced each other went head-to-head for the win. On the one hand, there were the Gigantes del Cibao who the previous year fell short in the fight for the title against the Águilas Cibaeñas and the Estrellas Orientales who just two years earlier (2018-2019) had managed to be crowned champions after many years of striving for it. Seven games would be played for the Final Series of the 2021-2022 LIDOM winter tournament.

The first was played at the Tetelo Vargas stadium, where the Estrellas Orientales defeated Los Gigantes del Cibao in a close game. Now, this would be the only game that the Estrellas Orientales would win, since from then on the Gigantes del Cibao would beat their opponents until they were crowned the first post-pandemic LIDOM champions. To this celebration we have to add the fact that the Gigantes del Cibao —the youngest in the LIDOM— were celebrating their 25th anniversary.


The Caribbean Series began on Friday, January 28, 2022 at the Quisqueya Juan Marichal Stadium. Teams from Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic participated.

The Dominican representation was victorious in its first three appearances against Mexico, Puerto Rico and Panama, respectively. On the fourth day, in an exciting low-scoring game, Colombia snatched the unbeaten record from the Dominican Republic. However, in the fifth game, the Dominican team returned to the path of victory by defeating Venezuela 8-7 going to the semifinals as the first classified in the group, in which the Navegantes de Magallanes (Venezuela), the Caimanes de Barranquilla (Colombia) and the Charros de Jalisco (Mexico) would also participate.

In these semifinals, Colombia beat Venezuela and the Dominican Republic beat Mexico. For the final game of the series that would decide the winner of the contest, Colombia and the Dominican Republic faced each other. Colombia, represented by the Caimanes de Barranquilla team, was the great surprise of the Caribbean Series. Indeed, it was the first time that Colombia had reached a final within the "Caribbean Classic", it was only the third time they had participated since its incorporation in January 2020.

When in that last game they gained ground on the Dominican Republic —which has won the Caribbean Series more than twenty times— the fans could not believe it. The starter Elkin Alcalá worked five and two-thirds innings, giving up just four hits, one run and striking out seven to crown the Colombians as champions of the Caribbean Series in a 4-1 win.

Thus ended one of the most successful baseball seasons in the Dominican Republic, one that will be remembered for decades. Despite the Dominican team not being able to win their championship, the fans enjoyed the intensity and thrills that they had missed so much during the period of seclusion caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.


The team

Dionisio Soldevila


Andy Brown


Pardo Agency

Art director and designer

Peter Weidlich


Giselle Rodríguez Cid
& Gema Imbert

cartographic & Corrections