In a first-of-its-kind event, the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation partnered with non-profit organization Edify to create a unique experience for nearly 300 kids from the Dominican Republic.
Since its opening in August 2019, the Rangers’ Dominican complex, located in Boca Chica, has served hundreds of prospects in their development to reach the Major Leagues through the club’s international baseball program.
The Rangers and Rangers Foundation have supported communities throughout the Dominican Republic for years through monetary and need-based donations, but they were looking to create an even bigger impact for area youth and those in surrounding communities.
During the first weekend in December, a two-day sports camp brought together Rangers Dominican prospects with community youth. The experience provided an opportunity to build meaningful experiences through face-to-face interaction, something Rangers players and coaches continue to prioritize at every level.
Students involved in programming at Edify-supported institutions were bussed in from communities surrounding the Rangers’ Dominican academy in Boca Chica to participate in various sports competitions and games at the camp.
Held across the complex’s 30-plus acres, on-field sports activities included baseball, volleyball and soccer challenges.
“The Texas Rangers Academy in the Dominican Republic was such an incredible host,” said Cary Hilliard, director of edification and philanthropy at Edify. “The entire staff was amazing and met every need to serve the camp.
“Jose [Vargas], Angel [Jimenez], Eugene ‘King’ [Kingsale] and the coaches were so good with the students, but the most amazing thing to me was how engaged the Rangers players were through it all. They connected so well with the students and offered valued training. They managed the games and brought an energy that was genuine and inspirational. The students and all of us were truly blessed.”
Students also worked to better themselves off the field through conversations and seminars focused on improving social and emotional well-being.
Before the camp’s conclusion, every participating athlete was gifted a new pair of shoes through Buckner International’s Shoes for Orphan Souls program. The Rangers’ prospects aided in fitting each athlete with their new footwear to complement their Rangers hats and T-shirts, which they will surely wear with pride throughout Boca Chica.