The LABC Experience is widely considered one of the most prestigious amateur events in the world. Although the amount of teams allowed to compete in the event averages 10-12 per age division, opportunity to compete remains extremely scarce to come by.
One of the greatest aspects of the LABC is the fact that it has been held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic for the past 34 years.
Competing on foreign soil for one's Nation resembles Olympic glory, but to do it in a tropical environment is unmatched in today's travel baseball world.
"I absolutely loved the fact that I could mix sun and baseball. The people were amazing, the baseball was exceptional, and the experience was a lifetime of memories." Stated Joe Hidalgo (pictured above).
Each day brings a new set of experiences for athletes and travelers alike. From world class competition to white sand beaches, the LABC experience provides every aspect of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Every year, the United States delegation numbers over 400 athletes, travelers, staffing, and coaches. All-inclusive accommodations are booked through Big League Edge, and are located on the white sand beaches of Boca Chica, DR. Game fields are mixture of MLB complex fields, private resort fields, and historical fields that are in poor shape, but the likes of Pedro Martinez and David Ortiz competed on these fields as children.
"The history and spirituality of the game are alive in the Dominican baseball culture. There is no question that our athletes learn quickly what it takes to not only compete at a high level, but be passionate about their future."Stated USA-LABC international team coach Larry Marshall.
Day one sees travelers arriving from the States, with nothing planned. Day 2 offers a full day of practice at the MLB complex fields of the Mets, Phillies, Diamondbacks, and Cubs. The evening brings a world class event to the entire USA-LABC delegation complete with food, guest speakers, and more.
Days 3-5 are competition days filled with international contests that pit Nation versus Nation. There is a 4 game guaranty with medal rounds thereafter. To play for the LABC championship is something truly special. An opening and closing ceremony is held on Day 3 and Day 5, respectively - with LABC awards being handed out in front of thousands at closing ceremonies.
"I have never been a part of something this big. Winning the entire tournament was like winning the World Series to our club, and it was so special to see my teammates dogpiling and smiling all the back home." Stated USA-LABC international team second baseman Johnny Rivera.
Day 6 is a complete day off that allows travelers and athletes to tour the Dominican with scheduled tours of many historical landmarks and more. Some USA-LABC travelers opt to just spend the day on the Caribbean, sipping tropical drinks and watching their kids play in the quartz blue seas that the Caribbean is famous for.
The evening of Day 6 brings together many nations into one major awards event that is complete with dress code, guest speakers, dignitaries, and more. Day 7 is when everyone leaves - re-entering the United States once again and relishing in the memories and friendships they forged throughout the past 7 days.