Connecting over the Cubs-Cards rivalry

Carlos Marmol at an on-field presentation for Dominican-born players.

Carlos Marmol was one of the Cubs’ six Dominican players to be honored by the Governor of Illinois and Consul General of the Dominican Republic. (Photo by Stephen Green)

A few things transcend the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry, but on Tuesday, the state of Illinois and the Dominican Republic did just that, honoring players from the Dominican Republic in a pre-game ceremony.

Under the Ricketts family, the Cubs are doing more than ever in the Caribbean island nation. In addition to work being done on a new facility to develop and educate players, Chicago Cubs Charities also has gotten involved—part of ownership’s commitment to do good wherever the Cubs touch.

Press release below:

The Chicago Cubs, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Consul General of the Dominican Republic Gisselle Castillo-Veremis will honor players from the Dominican Republic in a pre-game ceremony at Wrigley Field on May 10.

Prior to the Tuesday evening game against the St. Louis Cardinals, the Cubs and the governor, along with the Consulate of the Dominican Republic in Chicago, will salute Cubs Starlin Castro, Carlos Marmol, Marcos Mateo, Carlos Peña, Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano. Consul General Giselle Castillo-Veremis will present these six, along with Cardinals Miguel Batista and Albert Pujols, with a special recognition award on behalf of the President of the Dominican Republic.

“The Cubs are grateful for the contribution of Dominican-born players to our 2011 team,” said Oneri Fleita, Cubs vice president of player personnel. “We have watched many of these players grow up and are proud to see them doing so well at the Major League level.”

“We are proud of Illinois’ strong friendship with the Dominican Republic, which benefits all of our residents, both economically and culturally,” said Governor Quinn. “The athletes we honor tonight are just a few of the thousands of Illinoisans of Dominican descent who are making immeasurable contributions to the life and culture of our state.”

The Cubs have expanded their commitment to the Dominican Republic since the Ricketts family assumed ownership in 2009. The Cubs and Ricketts family have invested in the island nation to build a new facility to train, educate and develop athletes from around the Caribbean. Chicago Cubs Charities has donated more than $40,000 to the Dominican Republic in the last year alone to fund a rural health care program and doctor visits to communities to identify patients who are at risk for diabetes, to expand a surgical center recovery room and to construct a new facility at a local school.

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