SAN JUAN — For the first time ever, leaders of the Puerto Rico Baseball Federation (FBAPR) and the Puerto Rican Professional Baseball League Roberto Clemente (LBPRC) met, with FBAPR President Jose Quiles and LBPRC President Juan Flores coming together on Wednesday (26 June) in the capital.
The upcoming major international baseball competition WBSC Premier12 and the preparation of the Puerto Rican National Team were the key agenda items of the historic meeting. The WBSC Premier12 will be played from 2-17 November, while the LBPRC season traditionally starts in November. Adding further importance, the top finisher from the Americas in the Premier12 will earn a place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
In statements to the press, both leaders called the meeting “fruitful”, setting the stage for future collaborations between the federation and professional league, both of which are WBSC Members.
El presidente de la Liga de Béisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente, Juan A. Flores Galarza, catalogó como fructífera primera reunión con el presidente de la Federación de Béisbol de Puerto Rico, José Quiles.
— LBPRC (@LBPRC) June 27, 2019
“We agree to have a next meeting to specifically work on the topics related to [the Premier12] since several of the members of the National Team of Puerto Rico belong to teams in our league,” said LBPRC President Flores. “That was our main topic to discuss.”
“We want the undertaking of the Premier12 to be a joint effort between the two organisations,” said FBAPR President Quiles. “The colors that represent our athletes is that of Puerto Rico and our desire is that together we will continue to advance [Puerto Rican] baseball.”
For the opening round of the 2019 WBSC Premier12, Puerto Rico has been paired up with host Chinese Taipei, world No. 1 Japan and Venezuela in Group B.
The Puerto Rican National Baseball Team, currently ranked 11th in the world, finished in eighth-place at the inaugural WBSC Premier12 in 2015 and was knocked out by Samurai Japan and starting pitcher Kenta Maeda in the quarter-finals.
Puerto Rico has finished in second-place in the last two World Baseball Classics (2013 and 2017).