Feature News

Baseball intern teaches, translates in Dominican Republic

Aug 09, 2017

When he attended a sports panel discussion sponsored by North Central College, Jorge Guzman ‘18 never imagined it would lead to a summer internship with a professional baseball team.

However, that’s exactly what happened, and he found himself in the city of San Antonio de Guerra, Dominican Republic, working for the Kansas City Royals.

“Jeff Diskin, the coordinator for cultural development for the Kansas City Royals, was on the panel. I spoke to him afterward and he let me know about the internship opportunity,” said Guzman.

The internship took Guzman to one of the Royals’ minor league academies, where players train and play in hopes of advancing through the system to the major leagues. Bilingual in Spanish and English, Guzman’s role has included translating coaching instructions for non-English-speaking players, as well as assisting in afternoon English classes and with individual athletes.

“We have what is called ‘one-on-one’ where the ballplayer and I go through a specific English lesson, depending on the learning level of that player,” said Guzman (pictured, left). 

As a sports management major, Guzman intends to work in sports and this internship has opened his eyes to the vast array of career opportunities within a professional organization.

“There have been so many rewarding aspects, but the biggest for me has been learning from so many different people who do amazing work within the Royals organization,” said Guzman.

It’s not all teaching and translation for Guzman. During his time in the Dominican Republic, he’s made a point to join players in reaching out to the community and sharing a love for the game.

“Twice a week a few players and I travel to a local orphanage, where we run a baseball clinic with kids. We show them there are people who care about them,” said Guzman. “It has turned out to be one of my favorite aspects of the internship.”

Guzman and the players have also donated clothes and toys to the orphanage.

While in the Dominican Republic, Guzman has managed to trade the infield for the beach, traveling to Juan Dolio, Boca Chica and Santo Domingo, all coastal cities with famous beaches. His interactions with locals have been nothing but gratifying toward his experience.

“The people of the Dominican Republic are amazing individuals filled with pride and humility. I have loved every second I have spent here,” said Guzman.

By Caleb Lundquist ‘18