The Casa Jalisco, the headquarters of the Governor of the State of Jalisco in Mexico City, were packed with media representatives. So, when WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari named the occasion of the presentation of the venues and groups of the second Premier12 as “historical”, nobody could be surprised.
Fraccari had just met the President of the Federal Republic of Mexico Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and had shown him the Premier12 Trophy.
AMLO, as the President of Mexico is known in the Country, accepted a role of Global Ambassador of Baseball and immediately tweeted about his meeting with Fraccari.
Nos visitó Riccardo Fraccari, presidente de la Confederación Mundial de Béisbol y Softbol (WBSC) pic.twitter.com/vsf8DTijhw
— Andrés Manuel (@lopezobrador_) 13 febbraio 2019
“This is a great opportunity for Mexico” said Riccardo Fraccari during the press conference in Casa Jalisco “You have the U-23 World Champion team, you are hosting one of the groups in the State of Jalisco and the Memorandum of Understanding we discussed yesterday with Ana Guevara tells us that the Premier12 is not going to be a one-time occasion for Mexico.”
Salvador Quirarte, the President of the Local Organizing Committee in Jalisco, guaranteed that El Estadio Charros de Jalisco will be the perfect venue for the Premier12: “Jalisco is the land of Mariachi and Tequila. But is now also the land of Baseball.”
The Governor of the State of Jalisco Enrique Alfaro Ramirez echoed is words: “We are extremely proud to be part of this as baseball regains Olympic status. I am positive the world will consider us first rate hosts.”
Edgar Gonzalez, who played 193 games at the MLB level for the San Diego Padres and appeared in 32 NPB Games for the Yomiuri Giants, is now at the head of The Office of the President of Mexico for Baseball Development. He guaranteed that Mexico has the potential to field the best National Team in history.
“We have quite a few players who signed one year contracts with MLB clubs” explained Edgar Gonzalez “This will help the National Team a lot.”
Gonzalez, who has managed himself the Mexican National Team in the 2013 and 2017 World Baseball Classic is happy about his new role: “I sometimes miss the field. To be honest, I consider myself very much still a player. But I am confident I can have more of an impact in this role.”
Edgar Gonzalez considers the contribution of professional players the key for Mexico success internationally: “In Mexico there’s a lot of talent. Professionals want to compete for their National Team.”
Also players who were born in the USA, like yourself or your brother Adrian? “Definitely so. Mexican Americans are very proud, if they can represent Mexico.”
When WBSC President Fraccari disclosed the groups, the first comment that came from the media was about how difficult it would be to beat both the USA and the Dominican Republic, not forgetting The Kingdom of the Netherlands.
“We are talking about the best 12 baseball programmes in the world,” commented Riccardo Fraccari “there’s no easy group.”
On a final note, Riccardo Fraccari commented: “It’s been a privilege to present the second edition of the Premier12 in a Baseball Country like Mexico.”