”There was one kid that was a lefty throwing 91 (miles per hour). I put it in play and I was pretty happy with that.”
Rubino is one of the captains of Ipswich’s golf team and made the Tigers’ varsity baseball team as a sophomore last spring. He was the team’s fourth outfielder and is poised to take on a bigger role in 2013.
”Austin is a go-getter and he’s a kid that’s not afraid to take chances,” said Ipswich baseball coach Gardy O’Flynn. “He did some tremendous community service down in the Dominican and seeing that love for the game down there will really make anyone’s hunger for baseball grow.”
The Dominican Republic is certainly a baseball loving nation. Watching the joy that kids who don’t have advantages like iPhones and satellite television take from a simple inning of baseball left an impression on all the Lindos Suenos participants.
“It’s unreal,” Rubino said. “It was amazing to get that view of what baseball is like through those eyes.”
”I never played there but I have some close friends that did and for Austin to experience that culture, and see what those baseball guy go through, that’s great to see,” said O’Flynn, a veteran of six pro seasons that threw more than 1,000 professional innings.
Rubino was incredibly thankful to the Red Sox and sponsor Jet Blue for giving him the opportunity to experience another walk of life. The gratitude of the residents of El Mamon, however, was easily the most moving part of the trip.
”It was really touching. On our last day, three of the ladies prayed for us and we heard someone singing a hymn. They were so grateful,” said Rubino. “The kids were so friendly, so happy and outgoing. Their outlook on their situation is so positive.”
In the end, Lindos Suenos showed Rubino how much any kind of contribution to others can mean and how sports can break through cultural barriers.
It showed him just how beautiful dreams can be.