Alexi Ogando: a dream deferred

With Espinosa-Dash (left) on his side, Ogando was able to navigate a difficult road to the majors. Nancy Newberry for ESPN The Magazine

The Dominican Republic is filled with young boys who dream of playing in the major leagues. Growing up in San Pedro de Macoris, Alexi Ogando was one of them. He threw balled-up socks when he couldn't find baseballs, and as an 18-year-old with a rocket arm he signed with the A's in 2002 for a modest $15,000 bonus.

How he got from those dusty Dominican streets to Rangers Ballpark might be the most improbable path any major leaguer has taken.