Dominican Republic Brings Heavy Hitting Pitch To Canada

with Taylor Christie

L-R: Yadira Gomez, Assistant Director, Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism; Jenny Silva, Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism; Montserrat Despradel, Senior Coordinator of Canadian Market, Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism; George Bell; Albania Ortiz, Assistant Director, Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism

Canadian Baseball Hall of Famer and former Toronto Blue Jay George Bell signs baseballs for guests

The last time I was that close to Blue Jays Legend, George Bell, it was August 28, 1987 at Exhibition Stadium and I was 4 years old.  That day my parents had dragged me all over the Ex and I decided I wanted to sample one of mankind’s most ludicrous creations, the corn dog.  I had put up just enough of a fuss for my parents to let me have one, and by the time we got to the baseball game that night, I was really starting to regret my earlier insistence.  

By the time the 5th inning rolled around, I was slumped over one of the stadium’s metal benches in agony decrying my parents for letting me eat such a thing.  I was in so much pain that I pretty much missed George hitting a grand slam helping the Jays to a 9-4 victory over Oakland.

I was feeling much better than I did in late August 1987 this past Tuesday on the Muvbox patio at Brookfield Place in Toronto.  George Bell joined members of the Dominican Tourism Board to welcome travel industry reps and advocate for the continued growth of Canadians traveling to the D.R.

The Tourism Board’s slogan is The Dominican Has It All, and you’d have a hard time convincing my Blue Jays hero George and I otherwise.  You’ve got pretty much every activity that involves the ocean available to you, world class Golf, old world Colonial history, ecological sites and a rich Dominican culture all at a value that’s hard to beat.  And of course, as George would point out, you also have the ability to delve into the Dominican’s rich baseball heritage that maintains strong ties to Canada’s favourite team.   

Of note for the Dominican this season is an increase in luxury hotel rooms with 3 of the resorts on the island making Condé Nast’s top 40 of the Caribbean (#9 Tortuga Bay at Punta Cana Resort & Club; #13 The Peninsula House & #25 Zoëtry Agua Punta Cana).  In addition, the Dominican won awards in 2015 from the World Golf Awards and from the International Association of Golf Tour Operators for being the region’s top golf destination.

Thank you to George and the Dominican Republic Tourism Board for putting on a fun evening and giving me the chance to meet one of my childhood baseball idols. Also, thank you to Muvbox for not serving any corn dogs.         

L-R: Abdalah Castillo, Director, Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism;
Juan Alsace, Consul General, U.S. Consulate General of Toronto;
George Bell; Montserrat Despradel, Senior Coordinator of  Canadian Market,
Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism

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