In this Book

Venezuelan Bust, Baseball Boom
summary
Though Venezuela is sandwiched between two soccer-mad countries—Brazil and Colombia—baseball is its national pastime and passion. Yet until the late 1980s few professional teams actively scouted and developed players there. This book is about the man who changed all that and brought Venezuela into Major League Baseball in a major way.
 
While other teams were looking to the Dominican Republic for new talent, Houston Astros' scout Andrés Reiner saw an untapped niche in Venezuela. Venezuelan Bust, Baseball Boom recounts how, over the next fifteen years, Reiner signed nearly one hundred players, nineteen of whom reached the majors. The stories of these players—among them Bobby Abreu, Johán Santana, Melvin Mora, Carlos Guillén, and Freddy García—are interwoven with Reiner’s own, together creating a fascinating portrait of a curious character in the annals of sports and a richly textured picture of the opening of Venezuela as baseball’s new frontier. Countless interviews broaden and deepen the story’s insights into how the scouting system works, how Reiner worked within it, and how his efforts have affected the sport of baseball in Venezuela and the significance of Venezuela in the world of Major League Baseball.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Illustrations
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. 1. Venezuelan Bust, Baseball Boom: Mr. Reiner's Dream
  2. pp. 1-13
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  1. 2. It's Their Game Too: The Origins of Baseball in Venezuela
  2. pp. 14-36
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  1. 3. The Astros Go South: Scouting in Latin America
  2. pp. 37-49
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  1. 4. From Zero to Prospect: The Astros' Academy
  2. pp. 50-62
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  1. 5. From Tunapuy to Guacara: The Search for the New El Dorado
  2. pp. 63-76
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  1. 6. On the Road to El Dorado: Scouting on the Frontier of Baseball
  2. pp. 77-92
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  1. 7. A Dream Come True: Ten Years at the Academy
  2. pp. 93-106
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  1. 8. Maracuchos y Gochos: Scouting in Maracaibo and the Andes
  2. pp. 107-123
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  1. 9. The Talent Search Expands: Scouting in Colombia, Nicaragua, Panama, and Beyond [Includes Image Plates]
  2. pp. 124-142
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  1. 10. Refining the Product: The Venezuelan Summer League
  2. pp. 143-160
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  1. 11. Foreigners at Their Own Game: Welcome to the Astros' Minor League System
  2. pp. 161-176
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  1. 12. What Happened? Where Did the Prospects Go?
  2. pp. 177-197
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  1. 13. Good-bye to the Astros: Andrés's Farewell Tour
  2. pp. 198-210
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  1. 14. Andrés's Dream and the Future of the Astros in Venezuela
  2. pp. 211-228
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  1. 15. Epilogue
  2. pp. 229-240
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 241-244
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  1. Appendix
  2. pp. 245-246
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 247-252
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 253-257
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