Curacao, pronounced (cure -a -sow) is a tiny Dutch island around 40 miles off the coast of Venezuela, surrounded by the Caribbean Sea, and is around double the size of Brooklyn and a population of around 150,000, which is 2% of the amount of people on Long Island alone. This dot on the map, however, is becoming increasingly known in the world. In fact for any Yankee fans out there does the name Didi Gregorius ring a bell? For those who do not know that is the Yankees new starting shortstop during 2015 and probably the future that was given the daunting task of stepping into the spot where Derek Jeter played for so many years. For such a small island, Curacao is an extreme hotbed of baseball talent.
Including Gregarious there are 7 total MLB players from Curacao. While that may not seem like a lot it is important to remember just how small the island is. To put this in perspective the author David Walstein has calculated that 1 major leaguer for about 21,000 residents while in the United States with all its baseball talent has around 1 Major League player for 503,000 residents, an astonishing difference.
A possible reason for this unusual occurrence that the people there mention is that since the ground is so rocky and tough, it makes the players work harder to overcome the tough bounces or make the places. The ball bounces so much that MLB player Jurickson Profar even lost a tooth when he was younger. I also believe it has to do with the climate and since it has warm tropical weather they can practice outside all year round which is not possible in New York.
Besides the MLB Curacao has been in the Little League World Series which televises the best 11-13 year old players in the entire world. I think baseball is great for their island because professional players have the potential to make multi-million dollar salaries and the players are always hometown heroes and role models to the younger generation in Curacao that they try to emulate.
I personally have been to Curacao myself however I was on a resort the whole time and did not see any baseball fields or baseball being played. In fact, it was advised to us leaving the resort and traveling on our own across the island may not be the safest thing, why that is I never found out.