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MLB turns focus to education in Dominican Republic

Commissioner's Office, MLBPA partner with USAID to bring improvements to country

The Commissioner's Office and the MLB Players Association jointly announced on Monday that they will partner with the United States government to focus on education in the Dominican Republic.

The program, with the help of the U.S. Agency for International Development, will focus on education, supporting children with disabilities and combating domestic violence.

"The people of the Dominican Republic hold a special place in the hearts of all Major League Baseball players," said MLBPA executive director Tony Clark. "With so many of our members calling the Dominican Republic home, it is an honor to join with Major League Baseball and USAID to provide funding that will help improve the lives of children and their families throughout the country."

Kim Ng, MLB's senior vice president of baseball operations, and James W. Brewster, United States ambassador to the Dominican Republic, were just a few of the people in attendance when the announcement was made in Santo Domingo. 2015 Baseball Hall of Fame electee Pedro Martinez, Milwaukee Brewers All-Star outfielder Carlos Gomez and Twins right-hander Ervin Santana were also present for the announcement.

"Improving education has consistently been one of the primary goals of Major League Baseball's efforts in the Dominican Republic," Ng said. "It is essential for the future of our game to provide these young players with the opportunity to develop in vital areas away from the diamond. We are encouraged that the launch of this program with USAID and the Players Association will continue to strengthen Baseball's educational initiatives in the Dominican Republic and build upon the progress we have made thus far."

Quinn Roberts is a reporter for