Nick Purdon, a current affairs reporter, and Leonardo Palleja, a producer and videographer with CBC’s The National, visited the Dominican Republic in April of 2013 to explore the dark side of baseball in the country. The 20 minute documentary feature above details the struggle for many Dominicans in their quest to climb out of poverty via baseball.
While the successes of players like Jose Bautista and Vladimir Guerrero serve as motivation for so many Dominican Republic teenagers, the tragic story of Juan Manuel Matos tells of the dangers of pushing 15 and 16-year old boys too hard. Juan Manuel Matos collapsed and died after being injected with steroids, as it has been purported. Matos was 15.
Purdon and Palleja’s account of the pursuit of Major League dreams is well worth your time, even if it’s a rather depressing look at the subject. The feature also enabled Peter Mansbridge to make his Getting Blanked debut.