Leones del Escogido
|Leones del Escogido|
|League||Dominican Winter League|
|League championships||1922, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1969, 1981, 1982, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 2010, 2012, 2013|
|Caribbean Series championships||1988, 1990, 2010, 2012|
Leones del Escogido (English: Lions of the chosen one) are a professional baseball team in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Established in 1921, Leones are the third most successful team in the Dominican Winter League, behind Tigres del Licey and Aguilas Cibaeñas, having won 16 national championships and 4 Caribbean Series.
Leones swept Aguilas Cibaeñas in 5 games in the 2012-13 best-of-nine finals. They represented Dominican Republic in the Caribbean Series to be played in Hermosillo, but lost the final 4-3 to the Mexican team Yaquis de Obregón. Leones beat Yaquis in their first two matchups and finished the Caribbean Series with the best record 5-2, including the final.
The Leones' record book is dominated by the Alou brothers: Matty, Felipe and Jesús. The brothers hold the first, second and third spots in the team's record book for the following: games played, runs, at bats, hits, home runs and RBIs. Matty and Felipe are one-two in several more categories, including bases on balls and stolen bases. Felipe Alou is also the most successful manager, winning four championships.
The Leones enjoyed a very successful first year with new ownership. They won their third straight "City Championship Trophy" over Tigres del Licey, their rivals who share Estadio Quisqueya in Santo Domingo, after winning six of their ten regular season games against Licey. They followed this by winning the regular season with a 30-19 record, and won their thirteenth Winter League Championship, ending their 18 year National Championship drought. Leones represented the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean Series, and won their third title with a 5-1 record.
On 20 March 2010, General Manager Moisés Alou announced that Ken Oberkfell will return to manage Leones del Escogido for the 2010–2011 season. The team won their fourth straight City Championship Trophy this season, securing the season series with their win over Licey on 9 December. Leones made it to the postseason, but failed to reach the finals, which were eventually won by Toros del Este.
After struggling in the regular season, Leones clinched a spot in the Round Robin. They finished the Round Robin in first place, setting up a 9 game Finals against Aguilas. Despite blowing a commanding 3-0 series lead, Leones won their fourteenth championship in dramatic fashion with a come from behind win in game 9. Leones also won the Caribbean Series hosted by Dominican Republic.
Leones again struggled in the regular season, but won their final three games to force a one game playoff against Gigantes del Cibao. Leones won the game 5-2, and joined Águilas Cibaeñas, Toros del Este, and Estrellas Orientales in the Round Robin. Águilas and Leones advanced to the Final, ending the Round Robin in 17 games. Leones swept Águilas in 5 games to win their third crown in four years and their fifteenth overall.
Leones cruised in the Caribbean Series group stage, winning 5 out of 6 games, but lost the final to Mexico in 18 innings 4-3.
On 1 December 2013, Leones beat Tigres del Licey 1-0 and secured the City Championship Trophy. Leones won the regular season with 31-19, qualifying for the Round Robin. On 14 January 2014, Jon Leicester, Ramon Garcia, Fernando Rodney, and Armando Rodriguez threw a combined no-hitter to Licey, clinching the Round Robin and home field advantage in the Finals. It was just the 8th no-hitter in the history of Dominican Winter League. They faced Tigres del Licey in the Finals, losing the series 5-3.
Leones had a disappointing season, finishing in last place with a 17-3 record. Licey also failed to reach the playoffs, making it the first time in the league's history that both teams from Santo Domingo missed the postseason.
Leones del Escogido won the first championship in 1922 of a short-lived professional baseball era from 1922 to 1937, but only the current Winter League format established in 1951 is widely accepted.
|1922||Leones del Escogido||Luis Alfau||Tigres del Licey|
|1955-56||Leones del Escogido||Frank Genovese||Águilas Cibaeñas|
|1956-57||Leones del Escogido||Red Davis||Tigres del Licey|
|1957-58||Leones del Escogido||Salty Parker||Estrellas Orientales|
|1959-60||Leones del Escogido||Pete Reiser||Estrellas Orientales|
|1960-61||Leones del Escogido||Pepe Lucas||Águilas Cibaeñas|
|1968-69||Leones del Escogido||Andy Gilbert||Estrellas Orientales|
|1980-81||Leones del Escogido||Felipe Rojas Alou||Águilas Cibaeñas|
|1981-82||Leones del Escogido||Felipe Rojas Alou||Estrellas Orientales|
|1987-88||Leones del Escogido||Phil Regan||Estrellas Orientales|
|1988-89||Leones del Escogido||Phil Regan||Tigres del Licey|
|1989-90||Leones del Escogido||Felipe Rojas Alou||Águilas Cibaeñas|
|1991-92||Leones del Escogido||Felipe Rojas Alou||Estrellas Orientales|
|2009-10||Leones del Escogido||Ken Oberkfell||Gigantes del Cibao|
|2011-12||Leones del Escogido||Ken Oberkfell||Aguilas Cibaeñas|
|2012-13||Leones del Escogido||Audo Vicente||Aguilas Cibaeñas|
Caribbean Series Championships
Leones del Escogido have won four Caribbean Series in their history.
|1988||Santo Domingo||Leones del Escogido||4-2|
|1990||Miami||Leones del Escogido||5-1|
|2010||Margarita Island||Leones del Escogido||5-1|
|2012||Santo Domingo||Leones del Escogido||4-2|
- Felipe Alou
- Jesús Alou
- Matty Alou
- Liam Sheldon
- Angel Baez Aquino
- Francisco Cordero
- José DeLeón
- Julio Franco
- Pedro Guerrero
- Ramon Emilio Jimenez
- Rufino Linares
- Francisco Liriano
- Pepe Lucas
- Juan Marichal
- Raúl Mondesí
- Jose "Makey" Moreno
- Jose Nuñez
- David Ortiz
- Tony Polanco
- Luis Pujols
- Steve Ratzer
- Tim Raines
- Juan Samuel
- Sammy Sosa
- Mario Soto
- Tim Wallach
- Enrique Wilson
- Alex Rodriguez
- Juan Uribe
- Rafael Furcal
- Neifi Pérez
- Mario Brito
- Octavio Dotel
- Juan Encarnación
- Wilson Betemit
- Wilton Guerrero
- Quinton McCracken
- Starling Marte
- Starlin Castro