DRSEA To Hold Special Tribute To Major League Baseball Executive Lou Melendez

The Dominican Republic Sports & Education Academy will holds it second annual “Making A Difference In The Dominican Republic” on June 29 at 6  p.m. at the 809 Club, 112 Dyckman Street, New York, NY.

The event will include a special tribute to Lou Melendez, a senior executive with Major League Baseball, who is retiring at the end of the year after 29 years with the league.  Co-hosting the fundraising event are the Juan Pablo Duarte Foundation, the New York Dominican Officers Organization, and Dominicans on Wall Street.

Melendez has held the position of Senior Advisor to the International Baseball Operations Department in the Office of the Commissioner for Major League Baseball since January.   Prior to assuming that role, he was Vice President of International Operations, responsible for oversight of  Major League Baseball’s satellite office in the Dominican Republic which he established in December of 2000.  He also administered the Winter League Agreement between Major League Baseball and four countries that make up the professional winter baseball leagues, regulated Major League Baseball teams’ activities outside the United States, and assisted in assembling teams of Major League Baseball players that participate in international events including the Olympics.  Throughout his career, Melendez has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to player education and community outreach programs.

The mission of the DRSEA is to educate young and gifted student athletes in the Dominican Republic, help develop their baseball skills, and give them the tools to succeed in life on and off the field.  Through a rigorous educational component, the DRSEA will prepare young boys to have the opportunity for scholarships at U.S. colleges and universities.

“Lou Melendez embodies the mission of the DRSEA,” said Harold Mendez, co-founder and chairman of the DRSEA Board of Trustees.  “His pending retirement from Major League Baseball brings mixed emotions to us at the Dominican Republic Sports & Education Academy.  On one hand, he has had a long and distinguished career, and deserves a well-earned ‘vacation.’

“On the other hand, we are going to miss his involvement in the development of baseball internationally, but particularly in the Dominican Republic.  From the very beginning, he has been a source of public and private support in the development of the DRSEA and has provided valuable insight and advice that has been crucial to the dream soon becoming reality.”

The event will also include a panel discussion by experts on the status of Dominican baseball, including the prospect of an international draft. “The discussion of an international draft is yet another issue that directly affects the future of baseball in the Dominican Republic,” said Charles S. Farrell, co-founder and project manager for the DRSEA. “Baseball spends upwards of $125 million annually on developing Dominican prospects, but we believe there is an incumbent social responsibility, including providing educational opportunities since only two out of 100 prospects has even a remote chance of success playing baseball.”

For additional information on the event, as well as sponsorship opportunities, go to www.drsea.org.

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