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Baseball’s popularity grew in the 1920s, promoted by American oil workers who brought along their love of the sport.

In 1939, Alejandro Carrasquel became the first Venezuelan to play in the major leagues, for the Washington Senators. He has been followed by the likes of Aparicio, Chico Carrasquel, Andres Galarraga and Omar Vizquel.

While Venezuelans are proud of the major leaguers, their deepest loyalties lie with the eight teams in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League, among them the Leones (Lions), Tigres (Tigers) and Tiburones (Sharks).

“I hope this is the first of many times that we’re going to see so many Venezuelans in the World Series,” said Carlos Vivas, a fan of Sandoval’s local team.