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Fans from Dominican Republic flock to Cooperstown

COOPERSTOWN -- With the high number of impact players and All-Star talent to come out of the Dominican Republic, it may come as a shock to learn that after Sunday only two native Dominicans have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Thirty-two years after Juan Marichal was enshrined, Pedro Martinez received his plaque to the cheers of thousands of fans who made the trip all the way from the Dominican Republic. In 1983, when Marichal was inducted, few Dominicans were able to make the trip, but Benjamin Rodriguez says he wasn't missing this one. As soon as it was announced that Pedro was elected, Rodriguez says he booked his trip to Cooperstown.

"When Juan Marichal was elected, there wasn't those possibilities of traveling and making tours and so on," Rodriguez said. And besides that, every Dominican fan of this generation watched on TV almost every one of Pedro's start in major league baseball. The Dominican Republic there was only like one TV and everybody was watching Pedro's games."

Martinez, now an American citizen, had a patch sewn onto each shoulder of his jacket. One, representing the flag of the Dominican Republic, and two, the eagle featured on the Presidential Crest to represent the United States. To honor his home country, he not only delivered half of his speech in Spanish, but invited Marichal up to the podium to hold the flag of their native country. Martinez said that it was the best symbol he could give to the country to see to of its sons posing together as the Dominican Republic celebrated Father's Day on Sunday.